Steinmetz and Tunnell (2013)

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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

Steinmetz and Tunnell (2013)
Title: Under the Pixelated Jolly Roger: A Study of On-Line Pirates
Author(s): Steinmetz, K. F., Tunnell, K. D.
Year: 2013
Citation: Steinmetz, K. F., & Tunnell, K. D. (2013). Under the pixelated Jolly Roger: A study of on-line pirates. Deviant Behavior, 34(1), 53-67.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: This study focused on an internet discussion board regarding digital piracy. Data was collected over a three-month period on 90 active threads on two boards, General Discussion and Serious Discussion & Debate.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: Yes
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • Not stated
Funder(s):

Abstract

Digital piracy—a type of copyright infringement—is a global phenomenon that allegedly contains grave economic consequences for intellectual property industries. Its pervasiveness has produced a global piracy subculture. This article describes our study of digital pirates who actively participate in an on-line discussion board dedicated to copyright infringement. It explores their motivations, techniques of neutralization, and contradictions within a community-wide belief system. Motivations among this group include a desire to share content, to sample content before purchasing, to acquire intellectual property that is unaffordable, and to subvert copyright law. We then apply Sykes and Matza's (1957) techniques of neutralization. Finally, we discuss contradictions within this group's belief systems; specifically acceptance and rejection of capitalism and state power and formal control.

Main Results of the Study

Digital piracy stems from various motivations:

  • Desire to share content and culture
  • Desire to sample content before purchase
  • Desire to undermine entertainment industry and copyright law
  • Inability to afford content

Actors within pirating communities use various forms of neutralizing thought patterns to justify illegal downloading. These belief patterns can be contradictory, such as supporting some forms of criminal law enforcement while disapproving of enforcement of copyright law.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

A better understanding of the digital pirating community and motivations for illegal downloading can fuel improved law and policy.



Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
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: 90
Level of aggregation: Threads
Period of material under study: Not stated