People often mixes up pirates and privateers, or call both pirates and privateers pirates. But there is a huge difference. The difference is that pirates don't have any limits, while privateers is hired by a nation (often their own) by recieving a letter of marque, which allows them to attack and plunder enemy ships during wartime. But Privateering has been illegal since 1856 allover the world. A famous example of a privateer is the british sir Francis Drake, who helped destroy the spanish armada in 1588.