Piracy has been one of the most flamboyant topics in the legal and economic literature of the last two decades. The increased importance assigned to copyright in national economies determined the imposing of this issue as one of the leading voices in the exports of many developed countries. However, the impact of several disruptive innovations (such as the internet and all its related technologies) has weakened the original role of copyright, thus stimulating a wide scholarly literature. While the core of this stream of literature has in general considered consumers like potential infringers and tried to check the impact of piracy on sales and industry profits, a few papers have considered the behavioral perspective. This aspect becomes crucial if one wants to take consumers’ viewpoint into account, while studying the inner factors that led them to infringe copyright. Yet, behavioral law and economics literature teaches us that beside any normative claims, the individuals’ compliance to the law depends on a complex interaction of factors including risk perception, size of sanctions, psychological determinants, and cultural values which jointly determine the social norms that must be properly understood in order to make efficient laws. If a handful of papers have already tried to gain insights on consumers’ behavior in western countries, the issue is still largely neglected in many countries in the rest of the world. This paper takes advantage of a survey conducted through field research in four Asian countries, (China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam) in order to provide an innovative picture of consumers’ behavior and sketch out some more general policy implications.
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