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Enforcing IPR through Informal Institutions: The possible role of religion in fighting software piracy

Author

Listed:
  • Nora Elbialy

    (University of Hamburg)

  • Moamen Gouda

    (University of Marburg)

Abstract

The existence of formal IPR laws can be considered a prerequisite for having efficient law enforcement but does not imply efficient enforcement in itself. A simple model is constructed to explain the interplay between the IPR law and human behavior within counterfeiting countries. It shows how a politically monitored IPR enforcement strategy is able to alter formal IPR laws or institutions but might not affect informal institutions, or human morals and behavior, to the same extent, hence barely affecting piracy situation. The model shows the essential role of informal institutions and its sanction mechanisms in the enforcement process. The main obstacle of IPR enforcement is that people are still not convinced that IPR violations are unethical. Religion can be considered an informal institution that might support or hinder formal laws issued with regards to IPR and hence influence de facto enforcement of laws, especially in countries with high piracy rate if a high adherence to religion is found. As the Religion-Loyalty Index (RLI) developed by this study shows, Muslim countries have the highest religiosity level among different religions. Consequently, an investigation of how Islamic jurisprudence views IPR piracy is conducted. As Islam generally prohibits IPR piracy, a set of policy recommendations based on new institutional perspective is presented that can effectively help in minimizing IPR piracy in developing countries in general and Muslim ones in specific.

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Elbialy & Moamen Gouda, 2011. "Enforcing IPR through Informal Institutions: The possible role of religion in fighting software piracy," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201120, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201120
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    File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/20-2011_elbialy.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pasquale Tridico, 2006. "Institutional Change and Governance Indexes in Transition Economies: the case of Poland," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 3(2), pages 197-238, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice Asongu & Pritam Singh & Sara Le Roux, 2016. "Fighting Software Piracy: Some Global Conditional Policy Instruments," Working Papers 16/004, African Governance and Development Institute..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intellectual Property Rights (IPR); Formal vs. Informal Institutions; New Institutional Economics (NIE); Software Piracy; Religion; Enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • K39 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Other
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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