Internet is probably the largest threat that the copyright law had to face since the time it was introduced. New laws are created all the time by governments to keep up with digital changing landscape. Did you know that the first copyright was created all the way back to 18th century by the British Statute of Anne 1710. This Statute required copyrights to be renewed for every 2 years. If you didn’t do this, your work would go in a public domain. After this, things got even more complicated. If you would try to search for your rights, you would probably end up in rabbit hole, never ending. Even if you try to ask for advice, you will get thousand different answers, doesn’t matter if you talk to professional lawyers for copyright.
Technology of Internet is developing with much more speed than its laws that are governing it. One of myths of internet is that anything that is put online can be downloaded or copied. This is not exactly true, because all the things you see online have practically exact potential to be protected with copyrights the same way you see something in bookstore or library. Today in modern digital age, we have modern copyright laws which means that formalities of copyright notice and registration are not required anymore. This is approved if material posted online has all the required elements, then the work is automatically copyrighted. Copyright is actually triggered and applied to internet when something is performed, published or copied without authorization.
When you download something from webpage, it can be viewed as same as making book copies from library. But by doing this you need to be aware that you’re doing copyright violation to the author of specific content. To avoid this, you got to get permission from its holder until you are able to download anything. Technology has allowed us to instantly share photos, videos and text. There are entire books digitized online, sharing knowledge that was once isolated and protected for more then centuries. Once something is published online, it’s truly impossible to take that back. This doesn’t mean that owners stopped with copyright trying. I think the biggest issue about copyright is file sharing. Software, movies or music, especially through torrent or warez webpages.
Movie industries are known for their aggressive pursuing of users who are downloading movies through those networks. There are thousands and thousands of lawsuits filled about this across the world. There are cases where students used internet service for downloading or uploading movies, music and other materials facing serious consequences, loosing lawsuits and thousands of dollars, even serving prison time and charged like criminals. My best advice to you is to be careful as you can see, copyright is really delicate topic on Internet.