, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 527-545
Date: 28 Mar 2007

Factors that Influence the Intention to Pirate Software and Media

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This study focuses on one of the newer forms of software piracy, known as digital piracy, and uses the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as a framework to attempt to determine factors that influence digital piracy (the illegal copying/downloading of copyrighted software and media files). This study examines factors, which could determine an individual’s intention to pirate digital material (software, media, etc.). Past piracy behavior and moral obligation, in addition to the prevailing theories of behavior (Theory of Planned Behavior), were studied to determine the influence on digital piracy intention. Based on the results of this study, planned behavioral factors in addition to past piracy behavior and moral obligation were found to influence an individual’s intention to pirate digital material. Attitude, past piracy behavior, perceived behavior control, and moral obligation explained 71 percent of the intention to pirate variance. Using these results, a better understanding of why individuals pirate is presented and can be used to help combat digital piracy.

Timothy Paul Cronan is Professor and M. D. Matthews Chair in Information Systems at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Dr. Cronan received the D. B. A. from Louisiana Tech University and is an active member of the Decision Sciences Institute and The Association for Computing Machinery. He has served as Regional Vice President and on the Board of Directors of the Decision Sciences Institute and as President of the Southwest Region of the Institute. In addition, he has served as Associate Editor for MIS Quarterly. His research interests include information systems ethical behavior, piracy and privacy, work groups, change management, data warehouse development, performance analysis and effectiveness, and end-user computing Publications have appeared in MIS Quarterly, Decision Sciences, Journal of Business Ethics, Information and Management, OMEGA The International Journal of Management Science, The Journal of Management Information Systems, Communications of the ACM, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, Database, Journal of Research on Computing in Education, Journal of Financial Research, as well as in other journals and proceedings of various Conferences.
Sulaiman Al-Rafee received his Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Arkansas 9n the USA in May, 2002. He is Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Quantitative Methods and Information Systems at the College of Business Administration, Kuwait University. He is the MIS coordinator of the department and has taught a variety of MIS courses within the department. His research interests include: ethics, behavioral psychology, software and digital piracy, user acceptance of information technology, and cross-cultural studies.