Cox, Collins and Drinkwater (2010)
|Cox, Collins and Drinkwater (2010)|
|Title:||Seeders, Leechers and Social Norms: Evidence From the Market for Illicit Digital Downloading|
|Author(s):||Cox, J., Collins, A., Drinkwater, S.|
|Citation:||Cox, J., Collins, A. and Drinkwater, S. 2010. Seeders, Leechers and Social Norms: Evidence From the Market for Illicit Digital Downloading. Information Economics and Policy, 22, 299-305.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
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|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The survey questionnaire was accessible via the websites of three magazines owned by the Nordic media group Sanoma WSOY. These were Mikrobitti, Digitoday (both technology news sites) and Taloussanomat (a business and commerce themed newspaper). The survey was conducted by HIIT (Helsinki Institute of Information Technology). Owing to the content of these webpages the respondents were naturally selected, by the surveys own admission, as users of file sharing services, 6103 responses were collected. The mean age of respondents to the survey was 28.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
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|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
The sharing of files via peer-to-peer (P2P) and related networks has become a hugely contentious issue in recent years, with the music industry citing this practice as a significant threat to intellectual property rights and the long term financial viability of its activities. Using Finnish data, this study examines the apparent determinants and factors associated with this important and little documented activity. Results indicate that file sharers behave in a way which is consistent with expectations drawn from economic theory but differs depending upon the stated extent of participation.
Main Results of the Study
- The most market participation is observed where the respondent is young, male and moderately educated.
- Financial incentives and the observed behaviours/attitudes of families and friends were the most important factors influencing the decision to participate.
- Perception that the probability of apprehension was very low was associated with higher probabilities of more intense forms (file sharing) of market participation.
- Only significantly biting constraint upon illegal downloading is a moral judgement made by the respondent: those that found the activity morally condemnable were significantly less likely to engage in market transactions across all categories of participation, particularly where that participation was more severe.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
An awareness of these commonly held attitudinal beliefs is key to inform future policy making related to illegal file-sharing activity.
Coverage of Study
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