Kim, Chanwoo, Mao Xuewen, Hyosung Park, & Kwangho Jung (2017). What motivates software piracy in China: Q-methodology perspective. Korean Journal of Policy Studies, 32(2), 135-166.

Abstract:This study explores why Chinese consumers use pirated software programs and how they think about their illegal use, relying on Q methodology. We developed 32 Q statements that outline reasons for using pirated software and surveyed 30 respondents from public officials and software company employees to students, professors, researchers, and the public. We developed four Q factors to describe four types of response to the use of pirated software. One group addresses a normative legal response, the second makes an economic utility argument, the third calls for punishing violators, and the fourth claims that they find themselves facing an uncomfortable dilemma in having to choose between the cheapness of illegal software and its illegality. Chinese respondents believe that government intervention can reduce the extent of illegal use (normative legal) and that intellectual property should be protected (economic utility). Furthermore, they acknowledged that the illegal use of software is a socio-structural problem across all social groups rather than a problem of a specific demographic group, such as a group of teenagers. Future research is required to explore not only whether or not perceptions regarding the use of illegal software vary from country to country, but also how Confucian culture and norms are related to attitudes about the widespread use of counterfeit products in Asian countries.

Chanwoo Kim <carfedm@snu.ac.kr> is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

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