Zamoon and Curley (2008)
|Zamoon and Curley (2008)|
|Title:||Ripped from the headlines: What can the popular press teach us about software piracy?|
|Author(s):||Zamoon, S., Curley, S.|
|Citation:||Zamoon, S., & Curley, S. P. (2008). Ripped from the headlines: What can the popular press teach us about software piracy?. Journal of business ethics, 83(3), 515-533.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Using the search term 'software piracy,' the authors collected 192 articles from USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post: the five daily papers with the highest circulation in the United States.
The time limit of the search ran from January 3, 1989 - December 31, 2004.
|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:||
Software piracy is an instance of unauthorized duplication of information goods where laws and norms are not agreed-upon. This article presents a content analysis of articles from the five highest circulating U.S. newspapers 1989–2004 as evidence of the prevailing social environment surrounding software piracy. The rationales in the news articles are analyzed as evidence of the social and psychological underpinnings of attitudes toward software piracy. An expanded version of Sykes and Matza’s (American Sociological Review 22, 664–670, 1957); Zamoon and Curley (Working paper, Kuwait University, Kuwait, 2007) neutralization framework is applied to analyze the content of the articles. We found that rationales condoning piracy showed a more balanced use of neutralization approaches, and less moral intensity toward the behavior. In contrast, rationales condemning piracy mostly promoted the injury aspect of software piracy, and suggested higher moral intensity. The discrepancies have practical implica- tions as a barrier to the ability to connect the two sides of the debate concerning software piracy.
Main Results of the Study
The main results of the study are:
- Excluding the editorials (which were infrequent), the distribution of rationales (pro vs. anti piracy) significantly differed depending on article type (v2(1) = 5.65, p = 0.018). News reports tended to have more anti-piracy arguments (151/278 of the rationales in reports) and news columns tended to present more pro-piracy arguments (115/203 of the rationales in columns).
- Most of this asymmetry arose from the presence of monetary rationales.
- Out of the 192 articles coded, 122 gave rationales for piracy and they included 252 rationales. These rationales were an accumulation of statements from pirates, prosecutors, and reporters’ commentaries on piracy issues. The three leading reason categories for condoning piracy were reducing monetary expenditures, justifications based on features of piracy processes, and deficiencies in law enforcement, each accounting for 43/252 (17.1%) of the cited rationales.
- Of the 192 articles coded, 156 gave rationales against piracy providing 248 rationales. The leading reason category, capturing 132/249 (53.2%) of the citations, was the economic hardships that piracy causes for software producers. This general pattern, of greater unanimity among rationales against piracy compared to those favoring piracy, will arise again in subsequent analyses.
- The data reveal a disjoint in the public conversation surrounding software piracy, where pro-piracy and anti-piracy rationales tend to approach the issue from differing perspectives.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- The fact that justifications for and against unauthorized duplication are arguing the issue from different perspectives can mean that it will take a long time to come to consensus around the issue. For example, the anti-piracy strategy of arguing based on economic concerns is likely to have minimal impact.
- In understanding rationales for and against the unauthorized duplication of information goods, businesses can better educate their staff and thus protect themselves from intentional or unintentional violations of property right laws.
- Using the results of this study and similar works can help our understanding of unauthorized duplication and help businesses evolve policies and procedures based on agreed standards of exchange.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Newspaper Articles|
|Period of material under study:||1989-2004|