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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Volume 6, Issue 4
Welcome to the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing (JRIM), special issue on “Digital piracy”. We would like to start by thanking all the researchers who have chosen to publish their work in this special issue, the reviewers for their timely reviews, and the EAB for their guidance and advice. This special issue has attracted a total of 34 manuscripts; unfortunately we can only publish a handful of them. It was a very difficult decision for the co-editors and the EAB to choose the top four papers for publication. The papers were selected based on the reviewers’ recommendation and contribution towards the digital piracy literature.
The four papers explore the latest digital piracy behaviour from across the globe. The topics cover key research areas within digital piracy utilising a diverse range of statistical techniques to help us understand the phenomenon.
This issue opens with a paper by Goode which provides a holistic picture of past research in digital piracy. The paper highlights some of the issues faced by researchers and practitioners in the field. Further, it also defines some characteristics of past studies and explained that a majority of published works focused on two disciplines, namely: “information systems and law” and “ethics and criminology”. The author also stresses the need to focus on keys research gaps such as, the supply of pirated digital material, behaviour of piracy groups, and benefits of digital piracy, just to name a few.
The next three papers provide empirical evidence of current digital piracy behaviour to answer some of the gaps that were highlighted by the Goode’s paper. The first paper by Larsson et al. shows that over 32 per cent of respondents upload new digital material on the file sharing community on a regular basis. Further, it suggests that high frequency uploaders are more likely to use virtual private network (VPN) or similar services. Thus, online anonymity practice of file sharing is correlated with legal and social norms. One of the highlights of the paper is the large number of responses (over 75,000) which provides the opportunity to compare the use of anonymity services with factors of age, geographical region, file sharing frequency and the likes.
The next paper by Taylor explores the influence of implicit attitudes on the “desire” to engage in digital piracy and the “intention” to engage in digital piracy. The results exhibit support to the importance of attitudinal influences in the formation of digital piracy intentions. It further accentuates the need to include implicit attitudinal considerations in explanatory models of these behaviours, particularly attitudinal explanatory models. That is, future researchers should be cautioned that they cannot rely purely on survey-based measurements to understand the behaviour of piracy groups. Some valuable implications are also provided for managers and policy makers.
The final paper by Vida et al. explores and compares the perceived benefits and perceived risks of digital piracy behaviour from five countries, namely, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK. The findings indicate that piracy behaviour is driven by rational behaviour. That is, if downloaders perceive the benefits of downloading to be high and the risks associated with downloading to be low, they are more likely to download pirated material. The paper suggests that the current communication strategies are ineffective as it fails to provide strong counterarguments. It explains that policy makers need to challenge publicly accepted arguments of piracy as peccadillo using communication that shows key actors in multiple views and highlight the consequences of piracy. This method may help reduce the frequency of digital piracy.
We trust this special issue offers some insights into diverse and complex aspects of the digital piracy. We hope that these will continue to stimulate new research ideas in this field. We must again acknowledge the scholars who have taken a keen interest in choosing the special issue as an outlet for your papers. Special thanks to the members of the EAB, our pool of ad hoc reviewers and authors for their sterling contribution to this special issue project.
Ian Phau, Michael LwinGuest Editors