Earlier today, a Swedish court found the 2 founders and 2 operators of the file-sharing site, Pirate Bay, guilty of copyright infringement.

 This is a win for all the artists and creators who have invested countless hours on their works and deserve to prosper from their creative endeavors, not have it stolen by those who seek to take down the copyright system because they believe the internet has made copyright irrelevant. Now more than ever, the internet has empowered artists to bring their works to consumers through innovative new technologies and business models. Copyright is an essential part of this process. When creators and innovators face the risk of having their property effectively expropriated, nobody wins. The creator faces a disincentive to invest in and distribute their content and society loses out on the opportunity to benefit from their works.
I believe it’s also important to note the importance of intellectual property to an economy, especially in this economic downturn. In the U.S. alone, intellectual property industries contribute nearly 40% of the growth achieved by U.S. private industry, and if protections are not upheld and respected, there is less incentive for technological exploration and no catalyst for economic growth.
And while I have your attention, I would encourage everyone to read two reports. First, the 2009 International Property Rights Index recently released by the Property Rights Alliance, highlighting the importance of property rights to economic development. Second, Patrick Ross at the Copyright Alliance debunks common myths about copyright in “Critiquing Copyright Canards.”