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
Date Written: December 16, 2014
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.
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