Digital movie piracy: A perspective on downloading behavior through social cognitive theory

RS Jacobs, A Heuvelman, ML Tan, O Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This study refined and specified a model based on the application (e.g. LaRose & Kim, 2007) of social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) to analyze and compare the behavior and attitudes exhibited by movie downloaders and to compare the number of movies they consume. The model is tested against data obtained from college students and from attendees of a technological lifestyle forum in the Netherlands. After revisions, the model explained nearly 23% of the variance in the number of movies downloaded. The most important factors in this model were the drive to view many different and new movies, the social environment and perceived attitudes toward the behavior, and the degree to which downloading has embedded itself in the daily routine. Because the Dutch government and lobbyists are unclear about the current legislation in the Netherlands, a unique opportunity existed to study the impact of being aware of legislation on the behavior. The results also indicate an unexpected openness among the participants to an alternative film-distribution method in which both the producers and the consumers receive an honest deal. These findings suggest options for relieving the current political and social tensions associated with movie downloading without prosecuting an increasing portion of the population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-967
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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