Gecer and Topal (2019)
|Gecer and Topal (2019)|
|Title:||Academic and postgraduate student awareness of digital product copyright issues|
|Author(s):||Gecer, A. K., Topal, A. D.|
|Citation:||Gecer, A.K. and Topal, A.D. (2019) Academic and postgraduate student awareness of digital product copyright issues. Information Development.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study gathers data from a survey of randomly sampled postgraduate students from universities across Turkey, totalling 188 participants.|
|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:|
“The presentation and sharing of information, especially in digital environments, have become significantly easier with information and communication technologies and this has caused an increase in copyright problems. The aim of this study is to reveal the levels of awareness of academic and postgraduate students of copyrights in relation to digital products. The survey model was used in research conducted with the participation of academicians working at different universities in Turkey and postgraduate students in the 2018-2019 academic year. According to the findings, the knowledge level of the participants regarding copyrights, license agreements and fair use is moderate, their knowledge level about open source software, free software and copyleft is low, and they do not commit copyright infringements apart from downloading computer programs. Those working in the field of informatics commit more copyright infringement than others (such as using unlicensed software, distributing license serial numbers, illegally downloading music, videos etc., using without reference), as also do those in the 20-25 age range. The majority of participants stated that policies to prevent infringement of copyright digital products were insufficient, there is a lack of information about enforcement and their reasons for the situation include the belief in not getting caught and no one getting hurt, as well as not seeing it as a crime.”
Main Results of the Study
• Postgraduate students’ knowledge levels are highest on subjects like “copyright in general” and “fair use”, but are lower for subjects like “copyleft” and “open source software” - in regards the former, half of the participants replied to this concept with the statement of “I have no information”.
• The majority of students surveyed have obtained software illegally, whether from an illicit internet source (78.7%) or by copying serial numbers from friends (66%). However, a large majority of participants did not participate in other kinds of illegal usage, whether of photographs, animations or music etc. The authors attribute this differentiation in behaviour to the comparatively high prices of software.
• Students in the 20-25 age group show a greater tendency to infringe copyright, but otherwise there are no significant differences in likelihood to infringe based on e.g. department membership, or gender. Participants with the title of ‘Professor’ were the most likely to behave ethically, whilst postgraduate students report the highest likelihood of infringing behaviours.
• In terms of reasons behind infringement, most participants cite either a ‘lack of information on enforcement; or that the law is not implemented. Nonetheless, the majority of participants also report feelings of guilt and fear of getting caught following infringement.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study recommends “improving awareness of the copyright on digital products, increasing the severity of penalties and product prices being determined according to the countries’ economic conditions”. The study also recommends workshops and seminars on copyright and specialist copyright ‘units’ situated within universities.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Students|
|Period of material under study:|