Is the Devil in the Data? A Literature Review of Piracy Around the World

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This article examines the scholarly literature pertaining to music, film and software piracy around the world, with special attention to data sources, research scope and general findings. The article finds that the conspicuous absence of methodologies utilizing critical theory in this broad literature has constricted the world view of piracy, resulting in monolithic explanations of the causes and correlates of piracy. It further identifies systematic biases relating to the unjustified use of data published by the industry watchdog Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Keywords: copyright; information goods; intellectual property rights; piracy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of the Witwatersrand

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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