Bezmen and Depken (2006)
|Bezmen and Depken (2006)|
|Title:||Influences on software piracy: Evidence from the various United States|
|Author(s):||Bezmen, T. L., Depken, C. A.|
|Citation:||Bezmen, T. L., & Depken, C. A. (2006). Influences on software piracy: Evidence from the various United States. Economic Letters, 90(3), 356-361.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||4 socio-economic variables used by the authors in their analytic model: the natural logarithm of per-capita gross state product, obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau, the annualized unemployment rate, obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, measures of state taxes, as reported by the Tax Foundation, and the level of economic freedom, as reported by the Fraser Institute.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Technological advancements related to the production of information-based products have increased the availability of these goods on world markets, especially computer software, music, and videos. These same advancements, however, have also reduced the costs and increased the availability throughout the world of the technology used to copy or pirate these products. Consequently, the enforcement of intellectual property rights is among the primary concerns of software publishers, music labels, movie studios, and other producers within industries affected by piracy. Developers of information-based products have appealed to various national governments and international organizations for assistance in clearly defining and enforcing intellectual property rights at both national and international levels. Examining socio-economic influences on software piracy in the United States, the authors find a negative relationship between software piracy and income, tax burdens, and economic freedom. A 1% increase in per-capita income correlates with a 0.25% reduction in piracy.
Main Results of the Study
- As lesser-developed countries continue to experience economic growth and increased personal income, software piracy may well naturally abate. This does not imply that policies enforcing intellectual property rights are unworthy, but that policies that foster economic development and income may have an additional indirect benefit of reducing intellectual property theft.
- One aspect of intellectual property rights not specifically included in previous studies of software piracy is integration, both economic and legal. The legal integration of the United States at the federal level, a characteristic not shared by multinational organizations, may help explain why software piracy tends to be lower in the U.S.
- While multinational organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the United Nations may institute policies to help project property rights across national boundaries, the lack of economic and legal integration may ultimately frustrate such enforcement efforts.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Efforts in this area could yield better results by focusing less on sociological factors thought to influence software piracy and more on policies directed towards economic variables that tend to reduce software piracy.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Socio-economic variables|
|Period of material under study:||1999-2001|