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Digital Piracy: Factors that Influence Attitude Toward Behavior

Abstract

A new form of software piracy known as digital piracy has taken the spotlight. Lost revenues due to digital piracy could reach $5 billion by the end of 2005.Preventives and deterrents do not seem to be working – losses are increasing. This study examines factors that influence an individual’s attitude toward pirating digital material. The results of this study suggest that attitude toward digital pirating is influenced by beliefs about the outcome of behavior (cognitive beliefs), happiness and excitement (affective beliefs), age, the perceived importance of the issue, the influence of significant others (subjective norms), and machiavellianism. Given these results, measures can be developed which could alter attitudes toward digital piracy.

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Correspondence to Sulaiman Al-Rafee.

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Sulaiman Al-Rafee received his Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Arkansas in the USA, May, 2002. He is an assistant professor of Information Systems at the department of Quantitative Methods and Information Systems at the College of Business Administration, Kuwait. He is the MIS coordinator at the department, and has taught different MIS courses within the department. His reserch interests include: ethics, behavioral psychology, software and digital piracy, user acceptance of information technology, and cross-cultural studies.

Timothy Paul Cronan, Professor and M.D. Matthews Chair in Information Systems, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dr. Cronan received the D.B.A. from Louisiana Tech University and is an active member of the Decision Sciences Institute and The Associaton 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. He is currently Director of Enterprise Systems and Director of the Master of Information Systems degree programs. His research interests include information systems ethical behavior, work groups, change management, expert systems, 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.

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Al-Rafee, S., Cronan, T.P. Digital Piracy: Factors that Influence Attitude Toward Behavior. J Bus Ethics 63, 237–259 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-005-1902-9

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Keywords

  • attitude toward digital piracy
  • ethical behavior