This discussion of Internet ethics and copyright laws covers both written and unwritten rules and regulations. Unwritten Internet ethics and disregard for copyright laws may not bother you but breaking them does harm the people who created and own certain material. Copyright laws protect any work created for use on the Internet or anywhere - any type of intellectual property – monograms, written material, drawing, paintings, research papers, etc. Most Internet copyright infringements are related to music and website designs.
Imagine the effort that went into creating an album, which is then posted to the Internet so the people who worked on the album can make some money while earning fame. However, some "intelligent person" uploaded the same album to a site from where you can download the album without paying a cent. You may be thrilled, but consider this – are you not denying the effort and motivation that went into creating that album? Will that band ever use the Internet to sell their future albums or even bother to create another album? From my point of view, you just walked into a shop, picked up the album, and walked away without paying for it. This is not ethical. Can you consider the same action on the Internet to be ethical?
IMPORTANT: Works of literary, musical, dramatic, and certain other intellectual nature carry copyrights as soon as you create them. You need not specifically register the copyright. Federal laws assign copyright to your creation as soon as you create it.
The following paragraphs on Internet ethics and copyright laws cover the copyright laws, ethics, and associated penalties.