Importance Of Cultural And Risk Aspects In Music Piacy: A Cross-National Comparison Among University Students


Dr. Marc Fetscherin


Using a conceptual model of piracy, this paper identified four categories of factors which influence consumer behavior with respect to music piracy: economic, demographic, risk, and culture. A particular emphasis was placed on the importance of cultural and risk aspect in music piracy in this paper. It takes into account a large sample of micro-level behavioral data of university students from the U.S. and Switzerland. We show that despite the fact that these countries are two western, industrialized and technologically advanced nations, students have differences in national culture and they view and treat copyright differently, which ultimately affects the propensity to engage in music piracy. Our results show that consumer behavior can differ even among developed and technologically advanced countries. We show that compared to Swiss students, American students are more likely to engage in music piracy. With respect to the demographic factors, male students are more prone to piracy, whereas older students are less likely to engage in such activity. Finally, the key risk variables perceived probability of getting caught when conducting such illegal activity and the resulting penalty to be paid are negatively associated with music piracy behavior. This paper provides important insights which can be used to have tailored policies to alleviate piracy behavior in each country.

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February, 2009

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