factors influencing music piracy
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Factors influencing music piracyJames Popham aa Department of Sociology , University of Saskatchewan , 1019-9Campus Drive/Saskatoon, Saskatoon SK, S7N 5A5, CanadaPublished online: 03 May 2011.
To cite this article: James Popham (2011) Factors influencing music piracy, CriminalJustice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society, 24:2, 199-209, DOI:10.1080/1478601X.2011.561648
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Criminal Justice StudiesVol. 24, No. 2, June 2011, 199209
ISSN 1478-601X print/ISSN 1478-6028 online 2011 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/1478601X.2011.561648http://www.informaworld.com
Factors influencing music piracy
Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan, 1019-9 Campus Drive/Saskatoon, Saskatoon SK S7N 5A5, Canada
Taylor and FrancisGJUP_A_561648.sgm10.1080/1478601X.2011.561648Criminal Justice Studies1478-601X (print)/1478-6028 (online)Article2011Taylor & Francis2420000002011JamesPophamJames.email@example.com
A number of studies have illustrated that age, sex, computer skills, access tobroadband Internet services, and number of devices owned by a respondent areeffective predictors of engagement in electronic music piracy. However, thesefindings have relied on data collected from undergraduate student samples. Thispaper reassesses factors of music piracy using a more representative sample of thegeneral population. Using a logistic regression model, the findings suggest thatmost of the variables considered in past research significantly increase the oddsconnected with public engagement in electronic music piracy.
Keywords: digital piracy; downloading; MP3; cybercrime; logistic regression;public engagement
Past research has identified several factors that contribute to electronic music piracy(e.g., Gopal, Sanders, Bhattacharjee, Agrawal, & Wagner, 2004; Hinduja, 2001;Hinduja & Ingram, 2009; Morris & Higgins, 2009). The factors include the respon-dents computer skills, access to broadband Internet services, age, gender, and race.However, most studies were conducted within post-secondary institutions, usingsamples of undergraduate students (e.g., Higgins & Makin, 2004; Hinduja, 2006;Ingram & Hinduja, 2008). Since the student population is different from the generalpublic in demographic features, exposure to computer technology, and social activities(Ogan, Ozakca, & Groshek, 2008; Skinner & Fream, 1997), conclusions based onstudent samples may not apply to the general population (Flere & Lavric, 2008; Payne& Chappell, 2008).
This paper uses variables identified in past research to see if they predictparticipation in music piracy in the Canadian general population. The 2007 CanadianInternet Use Survey (CIUS) (Statistics Canada, 2006) provides data from a nationalrepresentative sample that can be used to conduct the test. There is some evidence toindicate that music piracy in Canada extends beyond the student population. TheOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that Cana-dians have the highest per-capita rate of music piracy among nations surveyed(Wunsch-Vincent & Vickery, 2005); furthermore, 40% of Canadian households usethe Internet to download music legitimately or otherwise, yet only 17% of Canadianhouseholds report having a student present (Statistics Canada, 2006).
Electronic music piracy refers to the illegitimate computer-aided copying, storage,and distribution of digitally compressed copyrighted audio tracks, commonly called
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MP3s. Persons engaging in music piracy can make use of specialized computer soft-ware to copy music tracks from a compact disc (CD) and store them on their personalcomputer hard drive as MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (MP3)-formatted files. These filespose only a small demand on electronic storage resources, thus making it easy andconvenient to collect numerous MP3s, usually of pop music, and share them via theInternet (Okin, 2005). This technology has been accessible to the public since theearly 1990s; however, the enormity of its impact on music piracy was not known untilspecialized software called Napster emerged in 1999 (Knopper, 2009). The individualcould now easily collect and distribute MP3 files en masse, giving birth to peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing between strangers around the world. Napster was first designedto promote music sharing on computer campuses leading the Recording IndustryAssociation of America (RIAA) to place blame for this phenomenon, and subsequentsales losses, on post-secondary campuses (Knopper, 2009; RIAA, 2010). Thisperspective has, perhaps, been excessively propagated to the public because of thelack of exploratory research noted above.
It is estimated that the US economy loses $12.5 billion annually due to music piracy,and that as many as 70% of downloaded songs are illegal downloads that directlyreplace legitimate purchases of music (Siwek, 2007). The OECD states that more than24% of Canadian households download music illegitimately (Wunsch-Vincent &Vickery, 2005). The RIAA has taken exception to this form of deviance and initiateda number of litigious campaigns against music downloaders (Hinduja, 2006; Knopper,2009). The RIAA claims that the lions share of music piracy is attributable to post-secondary campuses throughout the world (2010). While occasional small claims havebeen filed against individuals, the most frequent and exorbitant lawsuits have beenleveled at post-secondary educational institutions (e.g., Lockwood & Oliver, 2008).
Research has provided some support for the RIAAs claims. Skinner and Fream(1997) found a 35% participation rate in piracy among undergraduate students;Rumbough (2001) found that 60% of students admitted to using the Internet to illegallydownload music files. Recent studies have found even higher participation rates rang-ing from 75% to 85% of students (Ingram & Hinduja, 2008; Selwyn, 2008a). Thesefindings have prompted leading studies of electronic music piracy to focus on the post-secondary campus (e.g., Higgins & Makin, 2004; Hinduja, 2006; Ingram & Hinduja,2008; LaRose, Lai, Lange, Love, & Wu, 2006). Although this research has producedreplicable findings for campus-based samples, no effort has been made to test its viabil-ity for non-student populations.
While some authors have suggested that results from student-based samples forsociological studies can be applied more broadly (Mazerolle & Piquero, 1998, cited inHinduja, 2006; Nagin & Paternoster, 1993), recent arguments have stated that theseapproaches should be used cautiously at best (Bouffard, Bry, Smith, & Bry, 2008; Flere& Lavric, 2008; Payne & Chappell, 2008). The debate over undergraduate samples hascontinued for decades Gordon, Slade, and Schmitt (1986) introduced the science ofthe sophomore as a longstanding issue in studies of the science of human behaviorwith early concerns dating back to the 1940s (p. 191). Their study on the subject foundthat the social background of participants in a number of studies significantly impactedtheir responses to questionnaires, rather than factors identified in applied theory. Theauthors then suggested that phenomenological differences between the somewhat
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narrowed histories of students versus the wide ran