Intellectual property laws affect you as a creator, and as a consumer.
Eddie the Creator:
Eddie's lyrics are his creation. They're his intellectual property.
Eddie the Consumer:
Eddie maintains a fan site for his favorite big label band. He cannot post the lyrics to the band's songs without permission because the lyrics are the intellectual property of somebody else.
Let's take a look at the three areas that make up intellectual property law: copyright, patent, and trademark.