Why is online piracy ethically different from
theft?
A vignette experiment.
Wojciech Hardy, Michał Krawczyk, Joanna Tyrowi...
Introduction: If you download you’re a thief!
„When you go online and download songs without permission, you
are stealing....
Introduction: If you download you’re a thief!
„When you go online and download songs without permission, you
are stealing....
And the views of the society?
Definitely not the same percentage of people that steal from shops
(at least I hope so ).
S...
Common reasons for piracy:
5
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



Common reasons for piracy:
5
 There is no loss if you copy something.




Common reasons for piracy:
5
 There is no loss if you copy something.
 Why not copy if there’s no available alternative....
Common reasons for piracy:
5
 There is no loss if you copy something.
 Why not copy if there’s no available alternative....
Common reasons for piracy:
5
 There is no loss if you copy something.
 Why not copy if there’s no available alternative....
Common reasons for piracy:
5
 There is no loss if you copy something.
 Why not copy if there’s no available alternative....
To address the question:
6
Which difference makes the difference?





To address the question:
6
Which difference makes the difference?
Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed variou...
To address the question:
6
Which difference makes the difference?
Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed variou...
To address the question:
6
Which difference makes the difference?
Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed variou...
To address the question:
6
Which difference makes the difference?
Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed variou...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments








Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
Let’s take a few things into account first
7
Vignette experiments
 Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, eva...
8
Let’s take a few things into account first
How are pirates different?
Higher preference for risky behaviour
Less respe...
9
The questionnaire









9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.








9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.




...
9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.
 Randomi...
9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.
 Randomi...
9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.
 Randomi...
9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.
 Randomi...
9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.
 Randomi...
9
The questionnaire
 Rewards offered as an encouragement.
 18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.
 Randomi...
10
Story examples
 A friend of Johnny's forgot to log out from his e-mail box, after
using Johnny's computer. While closi...
Sample – Two studies
11
Study 1
 Students of the University of Warsaw (around 50% Economics)
 Young age (~24)
 Balanced...
12
Methodology
Ordered logit regressions:
Answer = βDimensions + γControls + ε
1) Regressions by treatment groups.
2) (N...
Results: The treatments
13Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The treatments
13Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The groups (downloaders)
14Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The groups (downloaders)
14Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The groups (downloaders)
14Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The groups (uploaders)
15Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The groups (uploaders)
15Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
Results: The groups (uploaders)
15Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
16
Results (Internet only)
Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
16
Results (Internet only)
Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
16
Results (Internet only)
Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
17
Conclusions
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17
Conclusions
The importance of dimensions:
 Physicality (Most important)
 Loss
 Protection
 Peer
 Sharing
 Altern...
17
Conclusions
The importance of dimensions:
 Physicality (Most important)
 Loss
 Protection
 Peer
 Sharing
 Altern...
17
Conclusions
The importance of dimensions:
 Physicality (Most important)
 Loss
 Protection
 Peer
 Sharing
 Altern...
17
Conclusions
The importance of dimensions:
 Physicality (Most important)
 Loss
 Protection
 Peer
 Sharing
 Altern...
17
Conclusions
The importance of dimensions:
 Physicality (Most important)
 Loss
 Protection
 Peer
 Sharing
 Altern...
Thank you for your attention!
Author: Wojciech Hardy
e-mail: whardy@wne.uw.edu.pl
More about our research on:
http://grape...
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WH @ IEA2014

  1. 1. Why is online piracy ethically different from theft? A vignette experiment. Wojciech Hardy, Michał Krawczyk, Joanna Tyrowicz Group for Research in APplied Economics
  2. 2. Introduction: If you download you’re a thief! „When you go online and download songs without permission, you are stealing. The illegal downloading of music is just as wrong as shoplifting from a local convenience store (…)” ---RIAA, Official stance on piracy (online until 2011) 3 „Piracy is theft, and pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Downloading a movie off of the Internet is the same as taking a DVD off a store shelf without paying for it.” ---MPAA, What is Internet piracy? (online until 2010)
  3. 3. Introduction: If you download you’re a thief! „When you go online and download songs without permission, you are stealing. The illegal downloading of music is just as wrong as shoplifting from a local convenience store (…)” ---RIAA, Official stance on piracy (online until 2011) 3 „It's as if we were advising people on how to steal from supermarkets (...) Everything's alright in the legal terms, but, without any doubts, this IS stealing from artists and - I repeat - is causing harm to culture.” --- Bogusław Pluta, director of ZPAV (2012) „Piracy is theft, and pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Downloading a movie off of the Internet is the same as taking a DVD off a store shelf without paying for it.” ---MPAA, What is Internet piracy? (online until 2010)
  4. 4. And the views of the society? Definitely not the same percentage of people that steal from shops (at least I hope so ). So what is it that actually makes the difference? 4 Source: http://piracy.americanassembly.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/AA-Research-Note-Infringement-and- Enforcement-November-2011.pdf
  5. 5. Common reasons for piracy: 5     
  6. 6. Common reasons for piracy: 5  There is no loss if you copy something.    
  7. 7. Common reasons for piracy: 5  There is no loss if you copy something.  Why not copy if there’s no available alternative.   
  8. 8. Common reasons for piracy: 5  There is no loss if you copy something.  Why not copy if there’s no available alternative.  They are just some big capitalist companies, who won’t receive my few dollars.  
  9. 9. Common reasons for piracy: 5  There is no loss if you copy something.  Why not copy if there’s no available alternative.  They are just some big capitalist companies, who won’t receive my few dollars.  DRMs are a nuisance to buyers, and pose no barrier to pirates. 
  10. 10. Common reasons for piracy: 5  There is no loss if you copy something.  Why not copy if there’s no available alternative.  They are just some big capitalist companies, who won’t receive my few dollars.  DRMs are a nuisance to buyers, and pose no barrier to pirates.  It’s much easier when you don’t have to look the victim in the eye.
  11. 11. To address the question: 6 Which difference makes the difference?     
  12. 12. To address the question: 6 Which difference makes the difference? Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed various, questionable acts to acquire a TV series.    
  13. 13. To address the question: 6 Which difference makes the difference? Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed various, questionable acts to acquire a TV series. Stories are based on six dimensions often mentioned in the debate around piracy:  Loss, Physicality, Alternative, Peer, Sharing, Protection  
  14. 14. To address the question: 6 Which difference makes the difference? Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed various, questionable acts to acquire a TV series. Stories are based on six dimensions often mentioned in the debate around piracy:  Loss, Physicality, Alternative, Peer, Sharing, Protection Responders rate the stories’ acceptability. 
  15. 15. To address the question: 6 Which difference makes the difference? Hypothetical stories about Johnny, who committed various, questionable acts to acquire a TV series. Stories are based on six dimensions often mentioned in the debate around piracy:  Loss, Physicality, Alternative, Peer, Sharing, Protection Responders rate the stories’ acceptability. Additional questions on personal behaviour and demographics.
  16. 16. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments        
  17. 17. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.       
  18. 18. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.  Very popular when analyzing controversial choices.      
  19. 19. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.  Very popular when analyzing controversial choices.  Types of theft – Green (2012).     
  20. 20. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.  Very popular when analyzing controversial choices.  Types of theft – Green (2012).  Sometimes on piracy, but mostly software and not culture. On cultural goods piracy   
  21. 21. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.  Very popular when analyzing controversial choices.  Types of theft – Green (2012).  Sometimes on piracy, but mostly software and not culture. On cultural goods piracy  Music piracy vs shoplifting (difference explained by law deterrence).  
  22. 22. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.  Very popular when analyzing controversial choices.  Types of theft – Green (2012).  Sometimes on piracy, but mostly software and not culture. On cultural goods piracy  Music piracy vs shoplifting (difference explained by law deterrence).  Acquisition of a `test preparation tool’ (physicality and exclusion). 
  23. 23. Let’s take a few things into account first 7 Vignette experiments  Hypothetical situations that the responders judge, evaluate, etc.  Very popular when analyzing controversial choices.  Types of theft – Green (2012).  Sometimes on piracy, but mostly software and not culture. On cultural goods piracy  Music piracy vs shoplifting (difference explained by law deterrence).  Acquisition of a `test preparation tool’ (physicality and exclusion).  `Sharing’ (e.g. at a party) is more acceptable than downloading.
  24. 24. 8 Let’s take a few things into account first How are pirates different? Higher preference for risky behaviour Less respect for the rules BUT: willingness to pirate is unrelated to willingness to shoplifting Individual judgement is often harsher than perceived social norms.  Although the latter may influence the former. Is piracy considered an ethical problem?
  25. 25. 9 The questionnaire         
  26. 26. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.        
  27. 27. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.       
  28. 28. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.  Randomized order of screens and stories within.      
  29. 29. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.  Randomized order of screens and stories within. Treatments (random assignment):     
  30. 30. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.  Randomized order of screens and stories within. Treatments (random assignment):  Treatment I: Ethical Judgement (EJ)    
  31. 31. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.  Randomized order of screens and stories within. Treatments (random assignment):  Treatment I: Ethical Judgement (EJ)  Treatment II: Social Norms (SN)   
  32. 32. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.  Randomized order of screens and stories within. Treatments (random assignment):  Treatment I: Ethical Judgement (EJ)  Treatment II: Social Norms (SN)  Treatment III: Incentivized Social Norms (ISN) (Krupka-Weber, 2013)  
  33. 33. 9 The questionnaire  Rewards offered as an encouragement.  18 stories that were built upon the six dimensions.  Randomized order of screens and stories within. Treatments (random assignment):  Treatment I: Ethical Judgement (EJ)  Treatment II: Social Norms (SN)  Treatment III: Incentivized Social Norms (ISN) (Krupka-Weber, 2013)  Rating scale: 1 – Totaly unacceptable; 4 – Fully acceptable.  Note that there is no interpretable middle.
  34. 34. 10 Story examples  A friend of Johnny's forgot to log out from his e-mail box, after using Johnny's computer. While closing the web browser, Johnny spotted that the mail currently displayed on his screen contained a one-use only access code for a payable site with TV series in High Definition. Johnny quickly copied the code, and after returning home used it on a season of a popular TV series.  Not physical; Loss; Peer; No alternative; No sharing; Protection  A new season of a popular, high budget, American TV series is available in kiosks as an add-on for a magazine priced 7.99 PLN. However, Johnny downloaded the series from another source, for free.  Not physical; No loss; Not a peer; Alternative; No sharing; No protection.
  35. 35. Sample – Two studies 11 Study 1  Students of the University of Warsaw (around 50% Economics)  Young age (~24)  Balanced gender (~60% female)  N=338 Study 2  Facebook profiles of non-for-profit organizations  Slightly older than Study I (~28)  Mostly female (~68%)  N=129
  36. 36. 12 Methodology Ordered logit regressions: Answer = βDimensions + γControls + ε 1) Regressions by treatment groups. 2) (Non)downloaders and (non)uploaders. 3) Subsample of deeds commited online. 4) Robustness checks.
  37. 37. Results: The treatments 13Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  38. 38. Results: The treatments 13Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  39. 39. Results: The groups (downloaders) 14Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  40. 40. Results: The groups (downloaders) 14Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  41. 41. Results: The groups (downloaders) 14Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  42. 42. Results: The groups (uploaders) 15Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  43. 43. Results: The groups (uploaders) 15Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  44. 44. Results: The groups (uploaders) 15Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  45. 45. 16 Results (Internet only) Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  46. 46. 16 Results (Internet only) Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  47. 47. 16 Results (Internet only) Note: * p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01
  48. 48. 17 Conclusions           
  49. 49. 17 Conclusions The importance of dimensions:  Physicality (Most important)  Loss  Protection  Peer  Sharing  Alternative (Insignificant)    
  50. 50. 17 Conclusions The importance of dimensions:  Physicality (Most important)  Loss  Protection  Peer  Sharing  Alternative (Insignificant) Individual opinion is harsher than perceived social norms.   
  51. 51. 17 Conclusions The importance of dimensions:  Physicality (Most important)  Loss  Protection  Peer  Sharing  Alternative (Insignificant) Individual opinion is harsher than perceived social norms. Conscious/sensitive downloaders.  
  52. 52. 17 Conclusions The importance of dimensions:  Physicality (Most important)  Loss  Protection  Peer  Sharing  Alternative (Insignificant) Individual opinion is harsher than perceived social norms. Conscious/sensitive downloaders. Same dimensions important online. 
  53. 53. 17 Conclusions The importance of dimensions:  Physicality (Most important)  Loss  Protection  Peer  Sharing  Alternative (Insignificant) Individual opinion is harsher than perceived social norms. Conscious/sensitive downloaders. Same dimensions important online. Policies should be focused on particular aspects of piracy.
  54. 54. Thank you for your attention! Author: Wojciech Hardy e-mail: whardy@wne.uw.edu.pl More about our research on: http://grape.uw.edu.pl/ipiracy Twitter: @GrapeUW

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