I never paid too much attention to copyright laws when it came to my use of the internet. Obviously, whenever I use online sources for academic purposes I adheer the ‘fair use’ requirements of giving credit to the originator of the material and never try to make money off of it. I try to avoid websites that provide file sharing and illegal downloading of movies and tv shows because I’ve heard horror stories of viruses and threatening emails that usually accompany such use. I guess the copyright law does influence my internet use because it influences my decision not to use or download such material.
I’ve read articles in the past about a teenage girl who illegally downloaded songs from limewire (or a similar file sharing platform) and was fined over 20k. This story scared me and after my parents heard the story they warned me from ever using such material. Also, I did a presentation on copyright laws and intellectual property in a previous comm arts class and read the repercussions of such activity. Fan-made websites using others’ ideas/material have been shut-down and even been threatened with ridiculous law suits. All of these warnings have certainly influence my internet use. Instead of trying to capitalize on others’ intellectual material, I just passively participate in online content by reading and spreading it around by word of mouth.