I must be honest when I say that copyright doesn’t cross my mind all that often when I’m online. It’s probably a combination of the fact that 1. I don’t do that many things online that are in violation of copyright (I don’t think…), 2. I’m probably not well-informed enough about copyright rules online, or 3. I’m not worried about the consequences of my behaviors that violate copyright. Whether that’s the smartest thing is a different matter.
I’m not a huge producer of online content so I don’t have to worry too much about violating copyright or other regulations in this realm. If I quote or reference an article, song etc. online I always include the link or “cite” the source, and not claim the content as my own. Where I should be paying attention to copyrights or regulation is when I’m acting as a consumer of online content. Things that I consume online that are likely in violation of some rules would be when I download music or watch TV shows online. I used to download music a lot more than I do now, with little regard for copyright or the artists. Now I make an effort to actually purchase the music of artists I respect and admire because I don’t want to steal there work. Even if they are probably loaded, its there product and they, and others that worked on it, deserve to be compensated. Unfortunately my college student budget can’t keep up with my desire for new music. Admittedly, I use Vuze, which is great (probably not according to copyright regulations…) because it allows you to download entire albums and discographies with one click, verses song by song (like on Limewire). I don’t worry too much about getting in trouble for my music downloading habits because in reality, there aren’t the resources to go after every person that illegally downloads music. If enforcement is going to follow-up with a downloader I assume it would be someone who downloads much more music than me because I know they are out there.
I also use the internet to watch TV shows that I’ve missed or go on marathons of multiple past seasons. I know this isn’t strictly legal also. When I do think about regulations most is when I try endless links and they’ve all been removed due to “copyright infringement” and my favorite sites (RIP surfthechannel) get discovered and basically become useless because of all the broken links. It seems to me as a user that the owners of this material are doing a decent job locating infringements and taking it down. I’m sure after learning more in lecture about copyright I will be more conscience about it online. Whether I’ll actually change my behavior is another thing.