Robin Hood Is Alive: the Perceived Morality and Social Acceptance of Pirated Products and Counterfeits Usage

Hannah Chang, Columbia University, USA
Anat Keinan, Columbia University, USA
Donald Lehmann, Columbia University, USA
We employ both direct and indirect methods to explore the piracy phenomenon. Our analyses suggest that consumers not only justify the consumption of pirated products and find it acceptable, but under certain conditions view piracy as more socially desirable than purchasing the original, copyrighted product. Specifically, we demonstrate that perceived morality of consuming pirated products depends on characteristics of the product and the manufacturer of the original (copyrighted) product, as well as how the pirated products are obtained. We find that consumers who use pirated product originally produced by a large corporation are viewed as “Robin Hoods.” Implications for research on consumption ethics are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Hannah Chang, Anat Keinan, and Donald Lehmann (2007) ,"Robin Hood Is Alive: the Perceived Morality and Social Acceptance of Pirated Products and Counterfeits Usage", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 700.