In the age of the internet, many people in New Jersey may not see anything wrong with downloading a song online and listening to it. What these people may not understand is that the artist has intellectual property rights in that song. Under United States laws, original works are protected by copyrights. These copyrights give the owner of these works the exclusive right to distribute, reproduce, prepare or display the copyrighted material.
A survey of attitudes toward intellectual property recently conducted by Columbia University in New York found that an astonishing 70 percent of all respondents in the 18- to 29-year-old age group admitted to having downloaded, copied or purchased movies, television shows or music in violation of copyright laws. The percentage of all adults who engaged in such activities is 46 percent, or almost half, but among young people, it is the overwhelming majority.
A bill that takes aim at online piracy has Web companies banding together to fight it, claiming it will threaten technology in the U.S. The Stop Online Piracy Act, which was introduced last month and is scheduled for a hearing this week, is intended to help law enforcement and copyright holders fight online piracy of intellectual property and banish copyright-infringing sites from the Web.
Several Hollywood studios banded together to successfully protect their intellectual property rights from a "family-friendly" company that was redistributing altered versions of their films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, Disney, Universal and Fox filed a lawsuit against Family Edited DVDS, Inc.