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Determinants of Digital Piracy: A Re-examination of Results

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  • Philipp Mandel

    ()
    (Universitaet Leipzig)

  • Bernd Suessmuth

    ()
    (Universitaet Leipzig)

Abstract

This paper empirically investigates determinants of digital piracy in Germany for several types of digitized products. To this end we rely on a survey comprising behavior and attitudes at the individual level. The sample matches some demographic characteristics of the German population with high-speed internet access with regard to gender and age composition. It also maps the share of foreign nationals in Germany. Self-selection in the drawing of our sample is assessed by a control experiment. In contrast to existing studies, we sharply discriminate between frequency and extent of pirating digital media. We find no significant gender difference in the propensity to pirate. However, male individuals are prone to pirate at a significantly larger scale.We attribute this finding to male individuals acting more frequently as hubs in the social prestige enhancing distribution of pirated media. It is particularly important in the light of the recent development of the distribution process from peer-to-peer online networks to offline forms of file swapping. Our findings are confirmed by recent piracy related crime statistics of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (Bundeskriminalamt).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 232 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 394-413

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:232:y:2012:i:4:p:394-413

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Related research

Keywords: Piracy; intellectual property; survey; digital economy;

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References

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  1. Sylvain Dejean, 2009. "What Can We Learn from Empirical Studies About Piracy?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(2), pages 326-352, June.
  2. Nicolas Curien & Francois Moreau, 2009. "The Music Industry in the Digital Era: Toward New Contracts," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 102-113.
  3. Rafael Rob & Joel Waldfogel, 2004. "Piracy on the High C's: Music Downloading, Sales Displacement, and Social Welfare in a Sample of College Students," NBER Working Papers 10874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Tim Goles & Bandula Jayatilaka & Beena George & Linda Parsons & Valrie Chambers & David Taylor & Rebecca Brune, 2008. "Softlifting: Exploring Determinants of Attitude," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 481-499, February.
  5. Martin Peitz & Patrick Waelbroeck, 2003. "Piracy of Digital Products: A Critical Review of the Economics Literature," CESifo Working Paper Series 1071, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Holm Håkan J., 2003. "Can economic theory explain piracy behavior?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, April.
  7. David Bounies & Marc Bourreau & Patrick Waelbroeck, 2007. "Pirates or Explorers ?Analysis of Music Consumption in French Graduate Schools," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(2), pages 167-192.
  8. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, And Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292, February.
  9. Bengtsson, Claes & Persson, Mats & Willenhag, Peter, 2005. "Gender and overconfidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 199-203, February.
  10. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  11. Eric P. Chiang & Djeto Assane, 2009. "Estimating The Willingness To Pay For Digital Music," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 512-522, October.
  12. Peitz, Martin & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2006. "Piracy of digital products: A critical review of the theoretical literature," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 449-476, November.
  13. Varian, Hal R, 2000. "Buying, Sharing and Renting Information Goods," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 473-88, December.
  14. Banerjee, Dyuti S., 2003. "Software piracy: a strategic analysis and policy instruments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 97-127, January.
  15. Antonio Andrés, 2006. "The relationship between copyright software protection and piracy: Evidence from europe," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 29-51, January.
  16. Arthur Vany & W. Walls, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Movie Piracy on Box-office Revenue," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 291-301, June.
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