Opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act wail that it will mean the death of free information on the internet. But information - be it photos, movies, music, software or scientific data - is never free anyway. Information of any kind must be discovered, created, or recorded, and that takes work, and that work must be done by a person, and that person needs to be free to set the price for his work. A free internet means the creator or legal owner of information has the right to set his own price for his information. He can make it free or he can charge what you are willing to pay, or he can ask the highest price possible. That is what's known as the free flow of information, and it applies to the internet, and anywhere else for that matter. The free flow of information on the internet is the same as free trade in economics. Free trade means buyers and owners are free to buy and sell goods, services, or ideas. It means a seller cannot be forced to sell for less than he wants and a buyer cannot be forced to pay more than he wants, and if an agreement can't be reached then no transaction occurs. The owner is free to ask whatever he wants (including nothing) and the buyer is free to agree or walk away. Anyone who thinks they are entitled to someone else's work without paying the asking price is a thief at heart. The fact that information should be free to flow from person to person, across all borders, doesn't mean that it's okay to steal someone's information, share it, or sell it without permission and without paying. Free trade doesn't mean everything should be free; and the free flow of information doesn't mean all information should be free. On the internet today we are witnessing the battle over who owns information: its creators or its thieves. SOPA says creators do. Its opponents say it belongs to the thieves.