Sailing in the same ship? Differences in factors motivating piracy of music and movie content

Joe Cox, Alan Collins

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This study presents indicative evidence on the impact of a range of consumer attitudes and characteristics upon the consumption of pirated music and movie files. Consumers of both types of content are analyzed using a survey sample consisting of over 6,100 observations. The study finds that demographic factors and attitudes towards downloaded content have the greatest influence on the consumption of pirated material, while awareness of legality and the threat of punishment affect consumption to a lesser extent. The findings of this study also suggest several conspicuous contrasts in the consumption of illegally downloaded music and movie files. Prolific music downloaders typically demonstrate a greater propensity to substitute legal content for pirated materials, while heavy movie downloaders demonstrate a greater willingness to pay for legal alternatives and are deterred to a greater extent by an awareness of negative effects of piracy upon the movie industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Early online date24 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • File-sharing
  • Illegal downloading
  • Piracy
  • Music
  • Movies


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