It is a Theft but not a Crime
AbstractWhy do people who normally refrain from committing illegalities become digital pirates? In this paper we use a theoretical model of digital piracy combined with a game-theoretic mechanism of social norm formation to argue that no social stigma is attached to digital piracy because the latter has no perceived social cost; therefore, there is no pressure to build a norm condemning it. We note the existence of a "sophisticate" form of piracy focused on high-quality copies, and not on Internet downloads and black market purchases of low-quality copies like the most common form. Somewhat paradoxically, sophisticate piracy could help to generate a social attitude against piracy, because it is self-containing. However, it is limited in its scope, and it is difficult to predict whether it might ever become sufficiently widespread to effectively engender the formation of an anti-piracy social norm.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2047.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
digital piracy; social norms; conformism;
Other versions of this item:
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dufwenberg, Martin & Lundholm, Michael, 1997.
"Social Norms and Moral Hazard,"
Working Paper Series
1997:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Paul, BELLEFLAMME & Pierre, PICARD, 2005.
"Piracy and competition,"
Discussion Papers (ECON - DÃ©partement des Sciences Economiques)
2005057, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
- Paul Belleflamme & Pierre M. Picard, 2004. "Piracy and Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1350, CESifo Group Munich.
- BELLEFLAMME, Paul & PICARD, Pierre, 2005. "Piracy and competition," CORE Discussion Papers 2005083, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- BELLEFLAMME, Paul & PICARD, Pierre M., . "Piracy and competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1919, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- George A. Akerlof, 1978.
"A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence,"
Special Studies Papers
118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
- Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
- Martin Peitz & Patrick Waelbroeck, 2003. "Piracy of Digital Products: A Critical Review of the Economics Literature," CESifo Working Paper Series 1071, CESifo Group Munich.
- 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.
- Josef Falkinger, 2004. "Noncooperative Support of Public Norm Enforcement in Large Societies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1368, CESifo Group Munich.
- Douhou, Salima & Magnus, Jan R. & van Soest, Arthur, 2011.
"The perception of small crime,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 749-763.
- Maria Bas & Ivan Ledezma, 2007.
"Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2077, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bas, Maria & Ledezma, Ivan, 2007. "Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6913, Paris Dauphine University.
- Alessandro Balestrino, 2012. "Taxes, Status Goods, and Piracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3704, CESifo Group Munich.
- Traxler, Christian & Winter, Joachim, 2009.
"Survey Evidence on Conditional Norm Enforcement,"
Discussion Papers in Economics
8992, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Christian Traxler & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Survey Evidence on Conditional Norm Enforcement," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2009_03, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
- Traxler, Christian & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Survey evidence on conditional norm enforcement," Munich Reprints in Economics 19645, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.