Contemporary culture and media has glorified the age old actual piracy at sea during the eras where we still had wooden ships with cannons. With movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, the pirate life seems like a good life of fun and adventure. In reality it was a barbaric and grueling profession.
Nowadays, the piracy that we know of in the 21st century is the illegal downloading of music, movies, and software. There is still ship piracy going on in the waters near Africa, made famous by the Somalians. Instead of big fleets, these pirates are usually a group of armed men with AK-47s and occasionally RPGs on a small boat, and they will hijack freights and the like to be used for ransom. Laws on Rules of Engagement prevent people from shooting these scumbags on sight.