Robertson, Mcneill, Green and Roberts (2012)

From Copyright EVIDENCE

Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Robertson, McNeill, Green and Roberts (2012)
Title: Illegal Downloading, Ethical Concern, and Illegal Behaviour
Author(s): Robertson, K., McNeill, L., Green, J., Roberts, C.
Year: 2012
Citation: Robertson, K., McNeill, L., Green, J., & Roberts, C. (2012). Illegal downloading, ethical concern, and illegal behaviour. Journal of business ethics, 108(2), 215-227.
Link(s): Definitive
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: Field survey data from questionnaires completed by a self-selecting sample of 196 young students (93 males and 103 females) at a New Zealand university (2010)

The sample was representative of typical first year students from a range of study areas, and not limited by socio-economic, gender or ethnic differences.

Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • Not stated
Funder(s):

Abstract

Illegally downloading music through peer-to-peer networks has persisted in spite of legal action to deter the behaviour. This study examines the individual characteristics of downloaders which could explain why they are not dissuaded by messages that downloading is illegal. We compared downloaders to non-downloaders and examined whether downloaders were characterized by less ethical concern, engagement in illegal behaviour, and a propensity toward stealing a CD from a music store under varying levels of risk. We also examined whether downloading or individual characteristics of downloaders were similar for men and women. Findings revealed downloading was prevalent (74.5% of the student sample downloaded), men and women were equally likely to download and the factors characterizing downloading were similar for men and women. The comparison between downloaders and non-downloaders revealed downloaders were less concerned with the law, demonstrated by less ethical concern and engagement in other illegal behaviours. Downloaders were also more likely to indicate that they would steal a CD when there was no risk of being caught. Given these results, messages regarding illegality are unlikely to perturb downloaders and alternative recommendations are offered for targeting illegal downloading.

Main Results of the Study

  • Downloading music is prevalent. 74.5% of the sampled students downloaded music.
  • The factors characterizing downloading are similar for men and women. In this study, both sexes were equally likely to download music.
  • In comparison with non-downloaders, downloaders have less concern for the law. The study demonstrated that downloaders had less ethical concern, and engaged in other illegal behaviours.
  • Generally, neither downloaders nor non-downloaders were likely to steal a CD, whether there was a risk of being caught or not. However, 20% of downloaders were significantly more likely than non-downloaders to indicate that they would steal a CD when there was no risk of being caught.
  • Some downloading is predicted by the belief that no harm is being committed. A lack of ethical concern regarding consumer behaviour in general, rather than ethical attitudes toward pirating specifically, is also associated with downloading.
  • Deterrent messages saying that downloading is illegal, or comparing downloading to stealing a CD, are unlikely to deter downloading.


Policy Implications as Stated By Author

  • Although not explicitly stated by the author as policy implications, the following are relevant:
  • Aggressive media coverage of criminal action against illegal downloaders, and focusing on the probability of being caught, may be more effective than just issuing deterrent messages regarding legal fines and legal prosecution. That approach will increase downloaders’ perceptions that there is a high probability of getting caught.
  • The finding that downloaders also engage in other illegal behaviour is concerning, and suggests that much illegal behaviour is already normalized in the youth market. This study suggests that downloading and music piracy might already be causing a more general erosion of ethics in society, and might possibly be a precursor to more serious illegal acts.



Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Green-tick.png
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Green-tick.png
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)
Green-tick.png

Datasets

Sample size: 196
Level of aggregation: University students
Period of material under study: Not stated