This paper empirically investigates determinants of digital piracy in Germany for several types of digitized products. To this end we rely on a survey comprising behavior and attitudes at the individual level. The sample matches some demographic characteristics of the German population with high-speed internet access with regard to gender and age composition. It also maps the share of foreign nationals in Germany. Self-selection in the drawing of our sample is assessed by a control experiment. In contrast to existing studies, we sharply discriminate between frequency and extent of pirating digital media. We find no significant gender difference in the propensity to pirate. However, male individuals are prone to pirate at a significantly larger scale.We attribute this finding to male individuals acting more frequently as hubs in the social prestige enhancing distribution of pirated media. It is particularly important in the light of the recent development of the distribution process from peer-to-peer online networks to offline forms of file swapping. Our findings are confirmed by recent piracy related crime statistics of the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (Bundeskriminalamt).
© 2012 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart