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Does intellectual property really matter?

Have you ever heard someone say that they do not think intellectual property violations are all that important? It's just information, they say. They don't feel like someone should be able to own it or protect it the same way that they can a physical asset.

Even if people do not voice this opinion, it's clear from the spread of stolen information on the internet that a lot of people believe it. As such, it's important to point out a few reasons why it is actually very important to have intellectual property rights.

First and foremost, it gives people incentive to invent and innovate. Businesses put so much time and money into research and development because they want to offer something that no one else can offer. If they know they couldn't protect that development, they wouldn't pay to do the research. They'd just steal and sell existing ideas. By telling them that they can own those ideas, they're pushed to come up with their own and technology moves forward.

The same thing is true with artistic creations, such as pictures, songs and movies. Artists deserve compensation for the time and effort they put into them. If they didn't get anything, they wouldn't be able to support themselves and experts claim that "cultural vitality would suffer as a result." In short, creativity and art are important to cultural growth, and intellectual property law helps to protect those things.

Unfortunately, many people violate these laws every day. If you have suffered a financial loss as a result, you need to know all of the legal options that you have.

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