This distinction, between "pirates" and "privateers" is the one the Privateering thread in the professions folder is all about. Many of us love the romantic and fiscal gains of squawking "aarrrr, arrrrr" and drooling out the corner of our mouths, but also enjoy the legal status as those carrying "letters of marque" or otherwise engaging in essentially legal activity. Yeah, we want to kill things and take their treasure, but we don't want to be hunted for it, nor cast out by the UEE. That's why discerning piratical scum will focus our efforts on raiding Vanduul, and Banu, and slavers inside the UEE, real outlaw pirates and of course The Outsiders, who are flying UEE ships but consider us humans as uncouth and unworthy of their society. F&ck 'em and take their ships, I say!Throughout history, "pirates" have had various forms of government support & legitimacy, as well as general organization. Probably the most prolific pirate of all time was Sir Francis Drake, who by the way, is an huge hero. During the war of 1812, many private US ships were privateers, and did quite a good business.