What is more important is the content transferred and the copyrights attached to the content. Thus, if there has been a transfer of some content that has been protected by copy right, then this means of file sharing is considered to be illegal. On the other hand, if the content is not protected by copyright, then file sharing may or downloading may not be illegal. Thesis The main reason why unauthorized file sharing is illegal in most countries is that it is considered equitable to theft. Arguments However, sharing or downloading may not always classify as theft. The famous economist and noble prizewinner, F. A. Hayek explains how conventional property rights and copyrights are different in reference to their supply capacities. While it may not be possible for the supply of a material property to be unlimited, it may very likely be that an intangible object has an unlimited supply (Hayek, pp. 23-25). Consequently, because there is an unlimited supply of an intangible asset, accessing that object may not affect the availability of that object to anyone. This implies that theft, where one takes the object of possession away from the owner cannot materialize in case of the intangible asset because the owner would still posses the intangible object. Thus, in essence, unauthorized file transfer is not illegal. Karl Sigfrid, the author of the op-ed submission, who has been arguing in the favor of decriminalizing file sharing and downloading, has also argued along similar lines to support his stance. Another strong arguments that have often being used to support the imposition on copyrights and thus, to make file transfers illegal is that of the potential loss that the owner of the file or the programme might have when his files are transferred to people. Take the instance of a music composer who is at loss when his music files are transferred to others. However, at a closer look the transfer of such files does not bring about any loss to the owner because in the end the owner still has an access to his files at the same time when others do (Lemely, pp. 30-34). More importantly, many artists, musicians, and composer have noted how file sharing benefits them by providing a forum for displaying and publicizing their work. Despite these arguments, the practice of file transfer and downloading is illegal when the file is copyrighted. This is because the owners of the intellectual property (the files that are transferred) state that their intangible property is subject to the same protection as a tangible asset because that intellectual property has some value attached to it. In other words downloading files without the permission of the owner is the same as encroaching on a private property or stealing. Skeptics may argue against this notion by explaining how stealing causes a loss to an individual. On the other hand, the acquisition of the files via file sharing does not add up to the cost of the owner. Nor does it cause any form of a loss of value, so comparing intellectual property with a tangible possession is absurd. However, there needs to be a closer inspection of how the usage of the intellectual property without paying for it is a cost to the owner in terms of the loss of the potential monetary benefits that he/she may have been entitled to receive otherwise. Using that intellectual

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