Our View: Want something? Buy it.

DKS Editors

File sharing certainly has its perks. However, free access to all sorts of media — music, movies and more — has created quite a dilemma for those who create it.

Now the government is beginning to crack down. The popular file sharing site Megaupload has been accused by federal prosecutors of hosting vast amounts of pirated content. A recent article on CNN.com said seven people associated with Megaupload were indicted in early January, and the site’s hosting companies will soon begin deleting their content (probably some time this week, the article said).

Many college students throw up their hands in disgust when the government cracks down on illegal file sharing, ignoring the bottom line: Digital piracy is stealing. The indictment for Megaupload estimates that the site cost copyright holders $500 million.

Those who take advantage of file sharing services argue that many who upload content are simply trying to share their interests.

“The person that uploads the HD digital satellite rip of the latest ‘Office’ episode — it’s not somebody trying to make money, it’s not some pirate in a back alley of the Internet trying to diminish the importance of the television show,” Ethan Kaplan, vice president of product for Live Nation, told NPR. “It’s a huge fan of ‘The Office’ that wants everybody to see why they’re a huge fan because of this amazing show.”

But the owners of that content deserve that money. You could argue that they make enough and they probably aren’t hurting, but it doesn’t erase the fact that pirated content steals from the artists we all love.

If you create something marketable, you should be able to own it, sell it and make money from it. And if you want something, you should buy it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.