Corruption and Software Piracy: A Comparative Perspective
Policy & Internet, 3(3), September 2011: 1-22
Posted: 7 Oct 2014
Date Written: 2012
This article examines the influence of corruption on software piracy across countries. Drawing on a simple theoretical model and a large sample of countries for a recent time period, it addresses three key questions: (i) What are the key determinants of software piracy?; (ii) How do nations with different piracy levels respond differently to factors that affect piracy, especially corruption?; and (iii) Is there a two-way causality between software piracy and corruption? It is demonstrated that corruption levels help explain variations in software piracy across countries, with higher levels of corruption correlating with higher levels of software piracy. However, the influences of different factors (including democracy, economic prosperity, market size and legal factors as well as corruption) are sensitive to prevailing levels of piracy, varying across countries with different piracy rates. Policy implications are discussed; these findings suggest that anti-piracy initiatives would need to be fine-tuned to country context, such as existing piracy levels.
Keywords: software piracy; corruption; intellectual property rights
JEL Classification: K4, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation