The increasing pervasiveness of the Internet, broadband connections, and the emergence of digital compression technologies have dramatically changed the face of digital music. Digitally compressed music files are essentially a perfect public economic good, and illegal copying of these files has increasingly become rampant. In this article, we present a study on the behavioral dynamics that impact the piracy of digital audio files and provide a contrast with software piracy. Our results indicate that the general ethical model of software piracy is broadly applicable to audio piracy. However, significant enough differences with software underscore the unique dynamics of audio piracy. We highlight practical implications that can help the recording industry to effectively combat piracy and provide future research directions.
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