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The impact of moral equity, relativism and attitude on individuals’ digital piracy behaviour in a developing country

Denni Arli (Department of Marketing, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Fandy Tjiptono (School of Business, Monash University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Rebecca Porto (Faculty of Economics, Universitas Atma Jaya Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

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2117

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of moral equity, relativism, and attitude towards digital piracy behaviour in a developing country. End-user piracy is more difficult to detect than commercial piracy. Thus, an effective strategy to combat piracy needs a comprehensive understanding of both the supply and demand sides of piracy. The current study focuses on the demand side by investigating the impact of moral equity, relativism, and attitude on consumer piracy behaviour in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a convenient sample in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, questionnaires were distributed in a large private university. In addition, through snowball sampling techniques, the surveys were also distributed to other adults who live within a walking distance from the campus. The data collection resulted in 222 usable surveys (a response rate of 68 per cent).

Findings

In Indonesia, moral equity had a negative and significant impact on purchases of illegal copies of music CDs and pirated software. Relativism affects the purchase of pirated software positively, but its effect on purchases of illegal copies of CDs is insignificant. Attitude towards the act was negatively impacted by moral equity for CDs and software. Relativism only significantly affects the purchase of pirated software but in the opposite direction while it has failed to reach significance for illegal music CD purchases. Attitude towards the software piracy and purchases of illegal copies of music CDs positively affect consumer’s digital piracy behaviour. Finally, Indonesian consumers feel more morally wrong to purchase illegal copies of CDs than to buy pirated software.

Practical implications

In the context of Indonesia, higher moral equity has affected piracy behaviour negatively. Therefore, efforts to reduce piracy should focus on highlighting the importance of fairness and justice. One of the main drivers of digital piracy (e.g. buying, downloading, copying, and sharing digital materials illegally) is overpriced products. It has led many Indonesians to believe that it is acceptable to purchase pirated software and illegal copies of CDs. Nonetheless, if companies are able to lower prices; thus make it affordable to consumers, consumers will perceive fairness and justice in purchasing original copies of software and CDs.

Originality/value

There are very limited studies investigating factors impacting the purchase of pirated software and CDs in the developing countries specifically Indonesia, the fourth most populous nation in the world and one of the biggest markets for counterfeit products. This is one of first few studies exploring this issue in Indonesia.

Keywords

Citation

Arli, D., Tjiptono, F. and Porto, R. (2015), "The impact of moral equity, relativism and attitude on individuals’ digital piracy behaviour in a developing country", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 348-365. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-09-2013-0149

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited