Gupta, Gould and Pola (2004)
|Gupta, Gould and Pola (2004)|
|Title:||"To pirate or not to pirate": A comparative study of the ethical versus other influences on the consumer's software acquisition-mode decision|
|Author(s):||Gupta, P. B., Gould, S. J., Pola, B.|
|Citation:||Gupta, P. B., Gould, S. J., & Pola, B. (2004). “To pirate or not to pirate”: A comparative study of the ethical versus other influences on the consumer’s software acquisition-mode decision. Journal of Business Ethics, 55(3), 255-274.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Hansen and Walden (2012)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The data were collected through a survey posted on the World Wide Web (WWW) that could be accessed by all standard web browsers (Netscape,Internet Explorer, etc.). A 1000-line Perl/CGI computer program was written to create the web based survey.Requests for completing the survey were sent to USENET newsgroups on the Internet, during an 8 month period. At the end of the submission period a total of 1092 responses were recorded, including international responses which were excluded from the study so we could focus on a relatively homogenous sample. Of the remaining responses, 14 were identified by the above-mentioned software program to be duplicates and were deleted. An additional 57 were found to be incomplete and were also removed. After eliminating these, there were a total of 689 usable responses from those reporting they were from the U.S. available for analysis.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Consumers of software often face an acquisition-mode decision, namely whether to purchase or pirate that software. In terms of consumer welfare, consumers who pirate software may stand in opposition to those who purchase it. Marketers also face a decision whether to attempt to thwart that piracy or to ignore, if not encourage it as an aid to their software's diffusion, and policymakers face the decision whether to adopt interventionist policies, which are government-centric, or laissez faire policies, which are marketer-centric. Here in order to assess the decision-making of all three of these stakeholders, we focus on the consumer's point-of-view as central and examine it by considering on a comparative basis the ethical dimension versus other dimensions, including economic,legal, and other salient consumer behavior considerations. Based on a survey of 689 software consumers conducted over the Internet, the results indicate that ethics as a factor is embedded in a multidimensional set of determinant factors influencing software piracy, including attitudes, legal aspects, social support,perceptions of economic loss and age. Policy and research implications, based on these findings, are provided.
Main Results of the Study
- As indicated by ATTITUDE, ethics is clearly an important variable in consumers' orientations to software piracy. Consumers who are less concerned with ethics are more likely to pirate than others.
- Ethics and legal aspects may be conflated or combined by consumers as indicated in the ATTITUDE variable.
- Another important finding concerns social support for piracy (SOCIAL). In this regard, softiifting is not a mere individual action, but takes place in a technologically oriented community ecosystem in which piracy for many is a tolerated, if not an ethically or socially prescribed, consumer and business tool.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Software piracy as an acquisition-mode issue is not only a major concern for marketers marketer-centric), but also is a complex policy issue (government-centric) in which the benefits of punitive policies must be weighed against the effects of more liberalized ones. Such policies should be evaluated in terms of consumer ethics, attitudes and behavior, supply conditions, and the strategies employed to insure optimal profits. Ultimately, controls should be applied which provide for maximal purchase of software while affording consumers the appropriate amount of product trial, reduction of risk, and comfort with the product.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||8 weeks|