Why Do We Do It If We Know It's Wrong? A Structural Model of Software Piracy

Why Do We Do It If We Know It's Wrong? A Structural Model of Software Piracy

Darryl A. Seale (University of Nevada, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-11-2.ch003
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Abstract

This study examines predictors of software piracy, a practice estimated to cost the software industry nearly $11 billion in lost revenue annually. Correlates with software piracy were explored using responses from a university wide survey (n=589). Forty-four percent of university employees reported having copies of pirated software (mean = 5.0 programs), while 31 percent said they have made unauthorized copies (mean = 4.2 programs). A structural model, based in part on the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985) and the theory of reasoned action as applied to moral behavior (Vallerand, Pelletier, Cuerrier, Cuerrier & Mongeau, 1992), was developed which suggests that social norms, expertise required, gender, and computer usage (both home and at work) all have direct effects on self-reported piracy. In addition, ease of theft, people’s sense of the proportional value of software, and various other demographic factors were found to affect piracy indirectly. Theoretical as well as practical implications for the design and marketing of software are discussed.

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