Copyright laws have been around since the US constitution and are hard to comprehend. The law in the constitution talks about patents, copyrights, infringement and infringement punishment. Here is the way to understand copyright laws.
A copyright is the right to copy or distribute their work online and offline through sale, rental, lease, lending and ownership transfer. Copyrights last as long as a person is alive and 70 years after a person has passed away. A person can do this as long as they are the owner of the work. The only way this will stop is if a person has violated those laws by using those works without the owner’s permission. A person will do this by infringing, or copying, work of someone else’s and claims it as their own. The owner will have to prove that the work belongs to them. Types of infringement are copyright infringement, direct infringement, secondary/contributory infringement and vicarious infringement.
The tricky part of copyright laws is fair use. Thanks to the Betamax case in 1979 a person can make copies of anything as long as it’s for personal use. If a person makes a copy to make money or for business use it is considered infringement. That doesn’t work with downloading songs. A person is downloading for personal use and is not trying to sell the copies. It’s different because downloading songs for free will hurt the recording industry’s sales; making copies of shows does not hurt the television industry because they make money through advertisements.