Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection for a variety of literary and artistic endeavours. Everyone who has used the internet has at one time or another copied material illegally. This is due to the popular misconception, that once material is posted to the internet it can be freely copied: this not the case. Unless the author of the material has stated that is available for public use, then permission has to be obtained from the author for the material to be used.
File sharing sites, is another issue that concerning copyright laws. These sites/programs allow people to share material over the internet, this allows for copyrighted material to be shared and copied form one person to another. Some people believe this is okay as there is no transaction of money for the material: this is not true. File sharing is one of the biggest problems concerning copyright laws on the internet as there is no way to monitor all the information being shared between people and block and copyrighted material from being sent.
Now days because it is so easy to share copyrighted material over the internet and it is so frequently done many people do not see it as a crime that affects the authors finically. Although many people would not steal a cd from a store, download free music from the internet is socially acceptable on the internet.
The reason why people copy and break copyright laws is because they don’t want to pay for it. What most people don’t think about while there waiting happily as their download finishes, is that they are part of a mass group that is stealing from the author. This author has probably spent many hours of work developing a program hoping that in the end he can share with all of us and maybe get paid, to earn a living so he can continue provide us with software we want and need. But all those people who pirate software and wish for everything on the internet to be free or cheaper, are really just saying , we value what you have created but could you just do it for free? Would you do your job for free? Or cheaper? Highly unlikely, but that being said people that claim authors aren’t protecting their material enough, well all that can be said about that is, if people really want something enough, they’ll do anything, even if it might cost them jail time or a $50,000 fine.