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Digital Piracy in the Modern World

Galuszka, Peter. “The War over Internet Piracy: Fearing Lawsuits, College Officials Crack down on Illegal Downloading of Music and Videos on Campus.” Black Issues in Higher Education, vol. 21, no. 2, 2004, p. 24.

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Galuszka, in this article, provides that 80% of all films and music is pirated. For artists and producers, the fear of digital piracy is at the will of those who uphold the law. It is shown that among groups that have chosen to commit such crimes, 37% are between the age group of 18-19. Only 4% were convicted and were seen in court; however, only 2% faced imprisonment. Even though the punishment for committing such a crime is hefty ($250,000 or 5 years in prison), that does not stop pirates and other people from doing this unethical practice. Millions of college students, who are net-savvy, download and copy or sell music videos. So far, Galuszka argues that the artists and the record industry are claiming losses over $4.2 billion resulting from the decline in album sales.

Moreover, although the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has lobbied a hunt for the pirates, it has proven difficult to end this illegal practice. In recent times, college administrators have declared war against students misusing university-owned information technology systems for fear of lawsuits against them. As a result, experimental deals have been developed to help combat digital piracy. One of the approaches has been lowering the strength of the internet connection to ensure pirates find it challenging to download during the known peak hours and eventually blocking their access to the websites. Therefore, this article is reliable as it uses universities as case studies for digital piracy.

Kukla-Gryz, Anna, et al. “Digital piracy and the perception of price fairness: evidence from a field experiment.” Journal of Cultural Economics, vol. 45, no. 1, 2020, pp. 105-131.

In this article, Kukla-Gryz et al. study the interrelationships between digital piracy and the fairness of the perceived price. Most of their findings tend to the fact that subjective overpricing is the leading cause of customers’ willingness to pirate instead of legitimate purchases. The researchers apply the moral cleansing concept and reactance theory to propose that digital piracy’s sense of guilt is reduced when prices of goods are unfairly high. Some people do not care about the ethical implications of downloading content from unauthorized sources, while others morally justify their actions. Kukla-Gryz et al. carried out field experiments examining the illegitimate download of electronic books due to the unfairness of price in licensed e-book stores.

According to reactance theory, when an object is much wanted, and access is restricted through perceived costs, its demand increases, and a person can use all means, including illegal ones, to acquire the product. Thus, according to Kukla-Gryz et al., digital piracy is a behavioral response of consumers to the price they perceive as unfair. Another reason that Kukla-Gryz et al. identify as the motivating factor for piracy is a negligible variable and high-fixed costs for digital markets as they differ significantly from the traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Thus, this article is useful because it deeply examines the leading causes of digital piracy.

Pham, Quoc T., et al. “Factors Affecting on the Digital Piracy Behavior: An Empirical Study in Vietnam.” Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, vol. 15, no. 2, 2020, pp. 122-135.

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Pham et al. begin by acknowledging the fact that, in many parts of the world, digital products are mostly illegally consumed, a trend that has severe adverse effects on e-commerce. The researchers carried out a case study of Vietnam on the leading factors of digital piracy behavior since the country experiences relatively high cases of this illegal practice, focusing on students. In 2015, the prevalence of digital piracy in Vietnam was 78%. The consumption of illegal digital products comes from an individual’s intention since it is easy for them to understand that they are consuming unauthorized content. Pham et al. define digital piracy as the consumption of illegally obtained digital products, including e-books, music, videos, and software.

This research identifies factors for this behavior as economic, psychological, ethical, and cultural. The theory of planned behavior best describes the reason for increased incidents of digital piracy in Vietnam. There is an uneasiness of regulating the access and use of unlicensed digital products, making it possible for the pirates to download and sell the content and materials they obtain illegally. Thus, this article is reliable as it presents the findings from Vietnam’s digital piracy case study.

Smith, Michael D., and Brett Danaher. “The Digital-Piracy Dilemma.” Harvard Business Review, 2020, Web.

In this article, Smith and Danaher assess a somewhat strange position regarding the effect of digital piracy on the film industry and the digital market as a whole. They argue against the view that although copyright owners can protect their content from pirates, digital piracy increases market awareness of a product through word-of-mouth, which boosts sales. As such, some observes of the digital industry think that the efforts by governments ad individual firms to try to combat it may not bear fruits to the expected extent. However, the sales being boosted by digital piracy are the illegal ones while the legitimate continue to be negatively affected.

The suggestions Smith and Danaher propose to tackle this issue include making anti-piracy regulation stricter about making pirated content more difficult to supply, more complicated to discover, and riskier to consume. The most important thing for policymakers and regulators to do is enforcing copyrights online to protect content creators and consumers. This move will enable rights holders to develop autonomy as to the length of time their content can be accessed freely. Thus, this article is helpful as it assesses the generally accepted hypotheses regarding the effect of digital piracy.

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