The Unauthorized Copying of Software Research Paper by scribbler

The Unauthorized Copying of Software
A look at psychosocial deterrents of the unauthorized copying of software.
# 152106 | 1,735 words | 13 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Dec 30, 2012 in Psychology (Behaviorism) , Computer and Technology (General) , Criminology (General)

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Software piracy is a serious problem in the United States and across the world. Software companies lose millions of dollars every year because many people are not afraid to copy software without authorization, or they do not feel that it is morally wrong. This paper attempts to fill a gap in the present literature on software piracy by focusing not on what drives people to pirate software, but rather what prevents them by determining the characteristics of individuals who refrain from engaging in software piracy, even when the opportunity is clearly present. The paper concludes that fear and moral appeals are likely to provide the most effective strategies for software companies to deter software piracy.

Introduction/Thesis Statement
Previous Research
Summary and Conclusion

From the Paper:

"Software piracy is an ongoing problem, both in terms of the financial losses to the software companies, and the psychosocial implications of such a large amount of people willingly participating in illegal activities. According to Siponen and Vartiainen (2007) "The most common rationale for regarding unauthorized copying as acceptable was 'software is expensive' (58.2 %). Cheng et al. (1997) also found that 'software is too expensive' was the most important reason for making unauthorized copies of software" (p. 32). However there are a multitude of items available that many people would like to have and simply cannot afford, but that does not cause them to steal these items. What is different about software? Siponen and Vartiainen (2007) cite 'ease of use' as a primary factor that distinguishes software piracy from other types of theft. In other words, copying software illegally is simple and convenient. From a psychosocial perspective, 'ease of use' brings Travis Hirschi's (1969) "Broken Window" theory into the equation. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alston, R.J., Harley, D. & Lenhoff, K. (1995) Hirschi's social control theory: A sociological perspective on drug abuse among persons with disabilities, Journal of Rehabilitation, 61, 31.
  • Christensen, K.D. (1997) Fighting software piracy in Cyberspace: Legal and technological solutions, Law and Policy in International Business, 28 (2), 435-475
  • Cyber safety glossary (2008) Business Software Alliance, Retrieved from
  • Downes, D.M. & Rock, P.E. (2007) Understanding deviance: A guide to the sociology of crime and rule-breaking, New York/London: Oxford University Press.
  • GDP Per Capita and Software Piracy (2004), Since 1968, Retrieved from

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

The Unauthorized Copying of Software (2012, December 30) Retrieved September 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Unauthorized Copying of Software" 30 December 2012. Web. 24 September. 2023. <>