Software Piracy: original insights from a criminological perspective

Robert Willison, Mikko Siponen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that software piracy is widespread. While the existing research on this subject has applied a number of theories in order to understand and prevent such an act, this text presents an alternative perspective by advancing two criminological theories. More specifically, a novel theoretical model is advanced, drawing on these theories entitled 'Techniques of Neutralization and Differential Association Theory'. The former helps to explain how individuals are able to rationalize their criminal behaviour in a manner which absolves them of pressures from social norms and internal controls such as feelings of guilt and shame. The latter explains how criminality is developed through a learning process taking place in personal groups. While empirical research is needed to test the model further, it is argued that these theories offer both an alternative perspective on the intention to commit software piracy, but also potentially open up new avenues for preventing this crime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266
JournalProceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


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