The fact that a work is placed on the Internet does not mean that it loses copyright protection. Downloading that work without permission is, in most cases, an infringement of copyright, just as making copies of a CD without permission will usually infringe copyright. The ease of uploading, communicating and reproducing material, coupled with the difficulty in policing such activities, does mean, however, that the Internet poses a challenge to copyright owners.
This has, to some extent, been eased by the advent of legal sites for downloading work (such as the iTunes music store). The Digital Content Guide (http://www.digitalcotentguide.com.au) provides details of safe and licensed digital content in Australia. These sites provide a new avenue for selling work, and a legitimate means for consumers to take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer.