Psychosocial Factors Influencing Attitudes towards Internet Piracy among Nigerian University Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study investigated psychosocial factors influencing attitude towards internet piracy among Nigerian University students. The ex-post factor research design was adopted. In all a total of two hundred and fifty participants were drawn through accidental sampling technique for this study. Their age ranged between 19-48 years.

Three hypothesis were generated and subsequently tested using appropriated statistical tools. The outcome of the tested hypothesis revealed that sex difference was not found to significantly influence attitude towards internet piracy (t(2,248) = - 3.47, P<.05). Similarly, self-esteem was not found to significantly influence attitude towards internet piracy (t(2,248) = 0.40, P >.05). In the same view, consumers ethnic group was not found to significantly influence attitude towards Internet piracy (F(3,246) = .404, P> .05).

Reasons were given why the outcome of this present study negates the outcome of previous study with emphasis on the socio-political situation in Nigeria. Based on this outcome, conclusions were drawn and recommendations were made.

Introduction

Examination of the various definitions and discussion of attitude offered by social psychologists, for example, reveals that there is an amazing diversity of conceptions of what the term denotes. Attitudes in the narrow and more specific sense represent our covert feelings of favourability or unavoidability toward an objects, person, issue, or behaviour. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1980) attitude is a learned manner with respect to a given object.

Piracy is a theft and therefore is a crime. But because of its white colour nature, many a time piracy is not perceived as a crime at all, or at least not as serious as thefts are ordinarily considered. This is perhaps one of the greatest problems associated with the effective control of the piracy phenomenon in a developing country like Nigeria. Internet piracy occurs when software is downloaded from the internet. The same purchasing rules should apply to online software purchase as for those bought in traditional ways. Internet piracy can take the following forms, pirate websites that make software available for free download or in exchange for uploaded programs, internet auction that offer counterfeit, out-of-peer networks that enable an unauthorized transfer of copyrighted programs which occurs when a business who sells new computers loads illegal copies of software on to the hard disk to make the purchase of the machines more attractive.

Advancement in computer technology have led to the development of a new form of criminal offence which is internet piracy. Internet piracy, or the illegal duplication and reproduction of copyrighted music, movies, and computer software costs entertainment and software companies billions of dollars annually (Nkanga, 2007).

According to a recent congressional report (2002), there are over 3 million users online at any given time swapping music at an incredible rate of 2.6 billion songs per month and movies at a rate of 12 to 18 million files per month. With such a massive amount of file sharing occurring via the internet, the congressional report argues that songwriters are now losing 240million dollars a month to internet piracy, and if the problem persists, it is estimated that the annual costs to the performers could reach 3. 1 billion dollars a year in subsequent year (Gillen & Garrity, 2000). Like many areas of life that have undergone change with improvements in technology, the acquisition of popular music and movies have moved to the internet and gone were the days where consumers wait anxiously in the streets for the release of the latest compact disc from their favourite singer, as are the days where movie goes camp out over night to catch the latest release of a long-awaited music (Moore& McMullan, 2004).

Today, consumers merely connect to the internet and begin downloading their favourite movies and music without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. …