Piracy by Approval: Social Norms, Deterrence, and Copyright Compliance in China Compared to the United States

33 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2014 Last revised: 1 Jul 2015

See all articles by Benjamin van Rooij

Benjamin van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Adam Fine

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychology and Social Behavior

Yanyan Zhang

Jilin University-Lambton College (JULC)

Yunmei Wu

Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences (YASS); University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 16, 2014

Abstract

This study seeks to comparatively understand copyright piracy amongst Chinese and American students. It tested the influences of deterrence, social norms, and perceived duty to obey the law on the likelihood that the 216 participants would engage in digital piracy in two hypothetical digital offending scenarios. Half of the participants were subjected to an “enforcement campaign” condition that indicated the enforcement crackdown on digital piracy. The other half did not receive information about enforcement of digital copyright infringement. Results indicate that regardless of explicit campaign enforcement, Chinese students’ inclination to engage in digital piracy hinges chiefly on the perceived behavior and approval of others. This stands in contrast to the US students for whom the enforcement campaign changed influences on their behavior. Both social norms and perceived deterrence affected decision-making during the explicit crackdown, whereas both social norms and perceived duty to obey the law affected decision-making when there is no explicit crackdown. The study provides broader implications both for enforcement policy and for comparative compliance theory.

Suggested Citation

van Rooij, Benjamin and Fine, Adam and Zhang, Yanyan and Wu, Yunmei, Piracy by Approval: Social Norms, Deterrence, and Copyright Compliance in China Compared to the United States (December 16, 2014). UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2539225

Benjamin Van Rooij (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Adam Fine

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychology and Social Behavior ( email )

4201 Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-7085
United States

Yanyan Zhang

Jilin University-Lambton College (JULC) ( email )

Changchun, Jilin Province 130012
China

Yunmei Wu

Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences (YASS) ( email )

577 Huan Cheng Xi Lu
Kunming, 650034
China

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://nclc.uva.nl/about/staff/wu-yunmei.html

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