The Nature and Incidence of Software Piracy: Evidence from Windows
This paper evaluates the nature, relative incidence and drivers of software piracy. In contrast to prior studies, we analyze data that allows us to measure piracy for a specific product - Windows 7 - which was associated with a significant level of private sector investment. Using anonymized telemetry data, we are able to characterize the ways in which piracy occurs, the relative incidence of piracy across different economic and institutional environments, and the impact of enforcement efforts on choices to install pirated versus paid software. We find that: (a) the vast majority of "retail piracy" can be attributed to a small number of widely distributed "hacks" that are available through the Internet, (b) the incidence of piracy varies significantly with the microeconomic and institutional environment, and (c) software piracy primarily focuses on the most "advanced" version of Windows (Windows Ultimate). After controlling for a small number of measures of institutional quality and broadband infrastructure, one important candidate driver of piracy - GDP per capita - has no significant impact on the observed piracy rate, while the innovation orientation of an economy is associated with a lower rate of piracy. Finally, we are able to evaluate how piracy changes in response to country-specific anti-piracy enforcement efforts against specific peer-to-peer websites; overall, we find no systematic evidence that such enforcement efforts have had an impact on the incidence of software piracy.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as The Nature and Incidence of Software Piracy: Evidence from Windows , Susan Athey, Scott Stern. in Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy , Goldfarb, Greenstein, and Tucker. 2015|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang & Siwen Chen, 2014. "The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 541-553, 09.
- Shane Greenstein & Jeff Prince, 2006. "The Diffusion of the Internet and the Geography of the Digital Divide in the United States," NBER Working Papers 12182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hall, Robert E & Jones, Charles I, 1997.
"Levels of Economic Activity across Countries,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 173-77, May.
- Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Koleman Strumpf, 2007. "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 1-42.
- Oz Shy & Jacques-Françlois Thisse, 1999.
"A Strategic Approach to Software Protection,"
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 163-190, 06.
- Silva, Francesco & Ramello, Giovanni B, 2000. "Sound Recording Market: The Ambiguous Case of Copyright and Piracy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 415-42, September.
- Joel Waldfogel, 2011. "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie? The Supply of New Recorded Music Since Napster," NBER Working Papers 16882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1989. "An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 325-63, June.
- Lakhani, Karim R. & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "How open source software works: "free" user-to-user assistance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 923-943, June.
- Bezmen, Trisha L. & Depken II, Craig A., 2006. "Influences on software piracy: Evidence from the various United States," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 356-361, March.
- Andrew E Burke, 1995.
"How Effective are International Copyright Conventions in the Music Industry?,"
CRIEFF Discussion Papers
9516, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
- Andrew Burke, 1996. "How effective are international copyright conventions in the music industry?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 51-66, March.
- Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2014.
"Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms,"
Innovation Policy and the Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 25 - 61.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19755. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.