Do you liberally “borrow” stuff you find on the Internet for your own purposes, reprinting copyrighted material without permission?
According to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, theft of intellectual property causes businesses to lose up to $250 billion in revenue and 750,000 jobs each year.
So when you steal other people’s content, you are helping to put someone out of work.
As a rule of thumb, people will violate copyright when either (a) they think the content is priced too high or (b) technology makes it easy to do so.
Now, thanks to the PC and Internet, it’s easy to steal movies, e-books, music, photos — whatever we want.
Does that make it OK to do so?
Does the imperative “information should be free on the Internet” trump the rights of creators of intellectual property to control distribution of and be paid for their work?