Academia is much different than the world of entertainment, so I believe the laws could definitely be relaxed. Most of the time when someone copies off of an academic article it is for research or the furthering of an area of study. I do not know too many scholars that would be opposed to their work being used in this way.
In the age of information, file sharing has been a potent force of spreading knowledge. Academic file sharing has been occurring since the Internet allowed the sharing of such files. That doesn't mean that it's right. The web is full of academic files that are available with the consent of the author. That's why people don't need to share copyrighted material, the information is mostly on the web and academic material can be downloaded in the electronic format at a lower cost to the customer.
I do not believe that copyright laws should be relaxed when it comes to academic file sharing. These laws were enacted to protect the creators profits and they should be enforced regardless of their use. There is no reason for students or professors to feel they have a right to copyrighted material without following the appropriate procedures to obtain it legally.
No, copyright laws should not be relaxed when it comes to academic file sharing, because a person's academic work is their livelihood. It is no different than charging a person to buy a book. People did not question that practice. Something should not be free just because it is in electronic form. Academic works are no exception.
Copyright laws should not be relaxed, even when it comes to academic file sharing. People who produce these materials need to be compensated with royalties. In the case of academic materials, students are the primary consumers. If students do not have to pay beacuse of a legal loop hole, the creators might recieve no compensation at all.