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Why is online piracy ethically different from theft? A vignette experiment

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  • Wojciech Hardy

    ()
    (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)

  • Michał Krawczyk

    ()
    (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)

  • Joanna Tyrowicz

    ()
    (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland)

Abstract

This study employs a vignette experiment to inquire, which features of online “piracy” make it ethically discernible from a traditional theft. This question is pertinent since the social norm concerning traditional theft is starkly different from the evidence on ethical evaluation of online “piracy”. We specifically distinguish between contextual features of theft, such as for example the physical loss of an item, breach of protection, availability of alternatives, emotional proximity to the victim of theft, etc. We find that some of these dimensions have more weight in ethical judgment, but there are no clear differences between online and traditional theft which could explain discrepancy in the frequency of commitment.

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File URL: http://www.wne.uw.edu.pl/inf/wyd/WP/WNE_WP109.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw in its series Working Papers with number 2013-24.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:war:wpaper:2013-24

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Related research

Keywords: vignette experiment; illegal downloading; digital piracy; illegal download; downloading behaviour; P2P network;

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  1. Gneezy, Uri & Rustichini, Aldo, 2000. "A Fine is a Price," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, January.
  2. Charles Hill, 2007. "Digital piracy: Causes, consequences, and strategic responses," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 9-25, March.
  3. Kirsten Robertson & Lisa McNeill & James Green & Claire Roberts, 2012. "Illegal Downloading, Ethical Concern, and Illegal Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 108(2), pages 215-227, June.
  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, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 481-499, February.
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