As a result of the recent growth in the use of the Internet and the continued progress of digital technology, the exchange of digital contents between users has been made much easier. However, it has led to current problems in that many cultural industries, such as software, music, and film, face the serious problem of piracy through illegal copying on a global scale. Nowadays, with the widespread availability of pirated software, there are some forms of piracy, such as music piracy, which have also become common global phenomena. Many previous studies that have considered music piracy have focused on the impact of file sharing on market and music consumption, and these have shown that music piracy has become a major concern and threat to the recording industry. The aim of this research is to investigate the factors that influence Chinese people to engage in music piracy. Most previous studies that have considered music piracy has only been conducted among western people, however, this research is specific in that only Chinese people will be considered here, and it will provide an insight into the attitudes and behavior of this particular group. It will be of value to investigate to what extent cost, attitudes, legal awareness, morality and other related factors play a role in the music piracy.
The statement of the problem
1. Free riding and digital music piracy
‘Music exchanged over the Internet is a pure information product,’ and as such the consumption of these information goods by one does not prevent others from consuming it at the same time. Denisa Ilascu said, in economic terms, information goods are public, they are non-excludable, compared with physical goods, although many people consider that information should be offered for free and rebuff any limitation to their activity of copying and distributing files over the Internet(Illascu, 2008). It is difficult to exclude other people from enjoying the music while the music is listened to by someone. However when people consume music without paying for it, this is called “free-riding,” and is a problem which may undermine market efficiencies. Digital music and the MP3 format used for compressing the size of digital music files has made file transformation easier and has helped music sharing activity and encouraged file sharing programs. Consequently, this has resulted in piracy problems that are now having a greater impact on the music industry. Moreover,the rapid development of the Internet has enabled the wider and easier distribution of music over the network. Subsequently, legal online music has appeared because of its easy reproducibility and electronic distribution. According to BBC news, since the appearance of this online music, it is now no longer necessary to buy CDs or records. People can now simply download the music, store it on any device such as a portable MP3 player, and share it with each other. The MP3 formats are consumer-friendly and can easily be copied and retransmitted on the Internet. However, this ease of reproducibility is a main factor in promoting music piracy. Downloading and swapping music files has become one of the most popular P2P applications around the world(BBC, 2008).
2. The problem of music piracy by Chinese
It is in the countries with greater Internet capacities and higher Internet penetration facilitates where the majority of sharing activities are undertaken. The writer Yasmin Li said, in the case of China, the development of the Internet has grown particularly fast. The number of Internet users in China has increased rapidly and there are now 87 million Chinese that have access to the Internet (Li, 2011). Through the development of the Internet, the use of broadband has also grown significantly in China, and with its increased download speeds has led to a situation in which P2P uploading and downloading services have become more popular. P2P...