Should We Put Them in Jail? Copyright Infringement, Penalties and Consumer Behaviour: Insights from Experimental Data

15 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2008  

anna maffioletti

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Giovanni Battista Ramello

University of Piemonte Orientale - A. Avogadro - Department of Public Policy and Public Choice; International Centre for Economic Research (ICER)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to deepen the knowledge of consumer behaviour in information goods markets, taking as a reference the sound recording market. In particular, its aim is twofold: on the one hand it attempts to get new insights on consumers paying special attention to their willingness to pay and to purchasing behaviour; on the other hand it wants to find out whether the recently adopted increase in legal measures against consumers by industries can have positive effects on lowering copyright infringement and raising legal demand. Using experimental methods, we elicited individual preferences in legal and burned CDs. We used hypothetical as well as real choices. Our experimental results suggest that lawsuits can effectively lower the rate of copying because they raise the probability of being caught by consumers and thus punished. However, they do not necessarily raise legal sales since the measured consumer willingness to pay is generally lower than the market price for legal products. Consequently, increased copyright enforcement may only lead to demand withholding.

Keywords: Infringement, Penalties, Consumer Behaviour

Suggested Citation

maffioletti, anna and Ramello, Giovanni Battista, Should We Put Them in Jail? Copyright Infringement, Penalties and Consumer Behaviour: Insights from Experimental Data. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 81-95, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1145931

Anna Maffioletti (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Giovanni Battista Ramello

University of Piemonte Orientale - A. Avogadro - Department of Public Policy and Public Choice ( email )

Via Cavour 84
15100 Alessandria
Italy

International Centre for Economic Research (ICER) ( email )

Villa Gualino
Viale Settimio Severo, 63
10133 Torino
Italy

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