In the U.S. the original term of copyright was 14 years with provision for renewal for a second 14 year term. At that time the average lifespan was 35 years. During the 1960's the term was 28 years with a 28 year renewal.
Infringement is theft. The term infringement is simply a legal descriptive of the type of theft.
Illegally downloading a song is in fact counterfeiting as a copy of the song is actually manufactured by the receiving instrument whether that be the memory chip in a phone or a computer hard drive.
@MiB To those believing that copyright infringement is not theft I would advise you to read the following legal definitions:
Theft: “Unlawful acquisition of property with intent to convert to taker’s use and appropriation by taker.”
Appropriate: “To make a thing one’s own; to make a thing the subject of property; to exercise dominion over an object to the extent, and for the purpose, of making it subserve one’s own proper use or pleasure.”
Infringement: “A breaking into; a trespass or encroachment upon; a violation of a law, regulation, contract or right. Used especially of the invasions of the rights secured by patents, copyrights, and trademarks.”
Property: “Everything which is the subject of ownership, corporeal or incorporeal, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible, real or personal; everything that has an exchangeable value or which goes to make up wealth or estate.”
Personal Property: “Personal property is divisible into (1) corporeal personal property, which includes movable and tangible things, such as animals, ships, furniture, merchandise, etc.; and (2) incorporeal personal property, which consists of such rights as personal annuities, stocks, shares, patents, and copyrights.”
Definitions: Black’s Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition, copyright 1957 West Publishing Co.
(I used definitions from a 1957 edition of Black’s to illustrate that this is not a new idea in response to the current mass infringement but has existed as a legal concept for quite some time.)
Music falls under the heading of “intangible or incorporeal” property. When an unlawful copy is made that is an appropriation of property, the property being the information, that is the music, contained in the original. That information, though intangible, is the actual property of the copyright holder. Regardless of the fact that when a digital copy is made the original may still exist, intact, in the owners possession, property has been appropriated. Hence unlawful copying, or copyright infringement, is in fact legally defined as theft.