Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 682–703 | Cite as

Fighting Software Piracy in Africa: How Do Legal Origins and IPRs Protection Channels Matter?

  • Simplice A. Asongu


In the current efforts toward harmonizing intellectual property rights (IPRs) regimes in the African continent, this paper provides answers to four key questions relevant in the policy decision-making processes. After empirically examining the questions, the following findings are established. (1) In comparison to common law countries, civil law countries inherently have a significant autonomous rate of software piracy; consistent with the “law and property rights” theory. (2) But for IPRs laws, the other intellectual property (IP) protection channels (World Intellectual Property Organization treaties, main IP law, and multilateral treaties) reduce the incidence of software piracy. (3) In both short-run and long-term, IPRs protection channels in civil law countries appear to mitigate software piracy more than in common law countries. (4) Formal institutions are instrumental in the fight against software piracy through IPRs protection channels.


Software piracy Intellectual property rights Panel data Africa 

JEL Classification

F42 K42 O34 O38 O57 



The author is highly indebted to the editor and referees for their very useful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.African Governance and Development InstituteYaoundéCameroon

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