I’ve written before about the importance of intellectual property rights and the economic impact that cyber theft has on the economy and on innovation. 

Finding solutions to prevent or even punish intellectual property theft—whether it’s foreign hackers stealing communications technologies, foreign companies illegally reproducing patented drugs or the illegal downloading of entertainment—can be a big challenge.  That’s why private initiatives to discourage intellectual property theft are so important. Particularly when it comes to movies, television shows, and other entertainment content, one important method of discouraging illegal downloading is by making that content easily accessible through legal outlets.  

To that end, the industry has created a new search engine–http://www.wheretowatch.org—that simplifies that process, helping users find the entertainment that they want through a legal source.  Most entertainment content already is available online legally and inexpensively.  As providers continue to compete for consumers, prices will continue to come down even as the quality and diversity of entertainment options increases.  That’s good news for the public. 

And hopefully, as the public becomes more aware of how these entertainment options can be readily accessed legally, fewer will resort to illegal downloading.  And that’s good news for anyone who values the rule of law.