Wingrove, Korpas and Weisz (2011)
|Wingrove, Korpas and Weisz (2011)|
|Title:||Why Were Millions of People Not Obeying the Law? Motivational Influences on Non-Compliance with the Law in the Case of Music Piracy|
|Author(s):||Wingrove, T., Korpas, A. L., Weisz, V.|
|Citation:||Wingrove, T., Korpas, A. L. and Weisz, V. 2011. Why Were Millions of People Not Obeying the Law? Motivational Influences on Non-Compliance with the Law in the Case of Music Piracy. Psychology Crime and Law, 17, 261-276.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||We collected data in late 2003 and early 2004 (n=172), from a sample of undergraduate student (56.4% freshman, 27.2% sophomore, 11.1% junior, and 5.3% senior). The sample was predominantly female (69.5%) and predominantly white (92.6%).|
|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:||
Despite highly publicized efforts by the music industry to curb music piracy, millions of Americans continued to illegally download and share music. This study obtained college student responses to scenarios that measured perceptions of three types of music theft: shoplifting a CD, illegally downloading, and illegally downloading plus file sharing. The students also reported their own recent downloading behavior, completed a demographics questionnaire, and responded to a series of statements that assessed their attitudes regarding factors associated with legal compliance in other domains. The data indicated that students viewed downloading and file sharing very differently than they viewed shoplifting in terms of endorsement of reasons to comply with laws prohibiting those behaviors. Further, concerns regarding punishment (i.e. deterrence), morality beliefs, and generalized obligation to obey the rule of law had the strongest relationships to self-reported downloading behavior. Respect for the music industry had the weakest relationship to legal compliance with both responses to the scenarios and students’ self-report of their own downloading behavior.
Main Results of the Study
- College students endorsed several measured compliance factors more strongly in the case of shoplifting than in the cases of music downloading and sharing.
- The results of this study suggest that desire to avoid punishment is strongly linked to compliance with music piracy laws.
- Participants endorsed deterrence motivation less strongly for downloading and sharing than for shoplifting, the construct was still strongly related to self-reported personal downloading frequency.
- Avoidance of punishment, increased belief that downloading is immoral, and a generalized notion that one should obey the law were strong motivators of decreased downloading frequency
- There was a significant main effect for the type of music theft between-subjects effects were significant for four of the five compliance factors deterrence, morality, social influence and obligation to obey the law.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- The finding in this study that fear of penalties was strongly related to downloading behavior may provide the music industry with some support for the approach of highly publicized lawsuits in order to decrease illegal file-sharing.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||University students|
|Period of material under study:||2003-2004.|