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Attitudes Among Swedish Students : A Study of Piracy and Illegal Downloads

by Holmgren, Rickard; Ylönen, Sakari; Öhrn, Niclas

Abstract (Summary)
The record companies have for years suffered from reduced sales figures and one of the reasons for that is seen to be the illegal downloading of music. The birth of digital music that can be accessed online has enabled to illegally acquire music and created severe problems for the record labels. Therefore, it is interesting to conduct a research on the consumer attitudes of piracy. This thesis purpose is to find out what are the attitudes of Swedish students towards illegal downloading. The frame of reference consists of several theories included in consumer behavior that build the basis for the analysis section. These are the consumer buying decision process model, and concepts such as attitudes, motivation, needs, ethics, and purchase knowledge. Moreover, issues regarding e-commerce and online related issues of music are being discussed. The method part is carried out by conducting a quantitative study including 60 randomly picked students in some major cities in Sweden. This was carried out in order to obtain a general picture of the piracy problem. In addition, focus group interview with 6 Swedish students at Jönköping International Business School was conducted to go more in-depth with this issue of illegal downloading, thus discovering the reasons for it and how attitudes and opinions could have an effect on them. The results show that practically everyone downloads music illegally, and not that many buy CDs anymore. Downloading happens on a regular basis, and it is notable how much the buying behavior within the music industry has changed in the recent years. Most popular reasons for these actions were the price of CDs versus downloading for free, the convenience, and small risk of getting caught. Furthermore, illegal downloading is not seen as stealing, at least at the same extent as stealing a physical CD. It seems that as long as downloading is both beneficial for the students in terms of money and convenience, and it is possible to continue illegal downloading without having a realistic risk of getting caught, the piracy problem will continue. In addition, the weak copyright laws in Sweden support this kind of action. It seems that the students in Sweden will continue to download illegally music as long as it s possible, due to the pre-learned attitudes that music should be gotten without paying for it. The upcoming IPRED-law that will enable the record companies to get the file sharers’ IP addresses can have an effect on this issue. It is suggestible to conduct a new, similar study after the law has come into effect, to discover whether the attitudes, opinions, and the actual downloading activity have changed. 2
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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