Until you sign a deal with a publishing company.
Many more people are self publishing nowadays than ever before. Seriously, they represent a significant percentage of the total publishing marketplace.
at the end of the day their copyright is still being signed over to a company and no longer owned by themselves.
That's not how copyright works unless they were creating work for hire. They still own it, they may sign an exclusive license but there's considerable legal debate over whether or not copyrights can be transferred or even made public at all, hence the existence of things like creative commons.
And if you go truly independent (as in, publish your own work,) and you find a copyright infringement.. you now have to somehow come up with the time (and potentially money) to fight for it.
Fortunately stronger legal protections as embodied by the DMCA make it relatively easy to have infringing works taken down immediately. If it looks like they were making money from your work, then sue them.
Remember that most of the big companies like Youtube have fast-track takedown policy for "trusted" publishers but an individual trying to get something taken down has a hell of a lot more trouble.
Nonsense, you may be thinking of the automated Content ID tool which draws on a library of copyrighted works for automatic comparison, but when a DMCA notice is sent infringing works get taken down.
Definitely an increase, but I'd say that has far more to do with the rise of internet distribution channels than it does to do with stricter copyright laws.
No doubt a contributing factor along with ubiquitous and cheap tools of creation but we can say at minimum that stronger protections haven't noticeably hindered creative output. For a graphic example of borderline illegal work check the booming mockbuster industry, which pretty much knocks any arguments about the suppression of derivative works on the head.
Sure they'd love to make a living from it but many if not most of them would still produce new works without financial incentive. Internet distribution means they now have an opportunity to distribute that work to a wider audience but again, a lot would do so regardless of whether or not they make money from it (and even with the stronger copyrights, there's a lot of people who post Youtube videos and fanfics and whatever other creative endeavors without any expectation of compensation. They just do it because they love it.)
Whatever gets you through the night, I suppose. Contrary to the opinion of people who've overwhelmingly never created anything in their lives, most artists who've put a lot of time and effort into their work get pretty riled when someone starts sharing their for-profit work for free. If they released something deliberately intending that it should be used as a business card that's a different matter, and of course someone who put in less effort is going to care less, but otherwise it's the surest way to piss someone off.
So we end up with a law that's only really beneficial to artists on paper and not in reality, while at the same time effectively criminalizing a large percentage of the population.
You've constructed a framework of half-truths, imagined circumstances and worst case scenarios in an effort to justify the masses taking advantage of the work of the few, which is precisely why we have laws. I'm not in favour of industry overreach like mass lawsuits or criminalising non-profit sharing, civil penalties are plenty, but really if you don't plan on infringing anyone's copyrights I dont see why you'd oppose stronger protections.