As Professor L. Ray Patterson explains:
“The competitor uses the copyright; the consumer uses the work. The copyright owner, by reason of the Copyright Act and the copyright clause, has not only no right to interfere, but a duty not to interfere with the consumer’s use of a publicly disseminated work.”
In the course of copyright legislation and through a drafting error that occurred at the time of the 1909 act fair use was now being applied to consumers where previously it had only applied to a competitor’s use or piracy:
“As originally promulgated, the fair use doctrine was a fair ‘competitive’ use doctrine designed to enable a rival author or publisher to use a copyrighted work in preparing another publication. Therefore, the doctrine applied only to competitors, not consumers.”
Therefore an individual user should not be liable for copyright infringement unless their actions rise to the level of piracy.
Consumers are not competitors. Whether copyright laws should even apply to their use of the work is up for debate; whether that be distribution or downloading; so long as that use is non-commercial.