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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Software Piracy: Are Robin Hood and Responsibility Denial at Work?

Software Piracy: Are Robin Hood and Responsibility Denial at Work?
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Author(s): Susan J. Harrington (Georgia College & State University, USA)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 12
Source title: Ethical Issues of Information Systems
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ali Salehnia (South Dakota State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-15-5.ch013


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Despite the existence of laws and much publicity surrounding software piracy, it is widely believed that software piracy is commonplace (Eining & Christensen, 1991; Simpson, Banerjee, & Simpson, 1994). A recent study (i.e., Business Software Alliance, 1999) confirms that software piracy is increasing, with a 2.5 percent increase in piracy in 1998 over 1997, resulting in $3.2 billion in losses to organizations in the United States and $11 billion worldwide. Yet reasons why such illegal behavior continues to occur are lacking. While some attempts have been made at AACSB-accredited schools of business to incorporate ethics education into business programs, there is no knowledge of such education’s relationship to actual behavior, nor is there knowledge on what exactly should be taught. Because previous educational, software-based safeguards, and attempts at raising awareness have failed to stop software piracy, some researchers (e.g., Simpson et al., 1994) believe that only when contributory factors are isolated can appropriate measures be taken to reduce software piracy. In addition, Watson and Pitt (1993) suggest that software piracy research lacks attention to individual factors, important for further understanding of the phenomenon.

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