Bouhnik and Deshen: Involvement of Israeli Adolescents in Illegal Downloading of Music from Internet

Dr. Dan Bouhnik, and Dr. Mor Deshen, both of Bar-Ilan University, presented a paper entitled The Involvement of Israeli Adolescents in Illegal Downloading of Music from the Internet, on 4 November 2013, at ASIST 2013 in Montréal.

Here is the abstract:

This study examined the various aspects of adolescents downloading music from the Internet. A questionnaire administered to more than 1,000 high school students from six different schools around Israel, was analyzed using quantitative methods. Additionally, qualitative information was collected from seven focus groups. Over 80% of the adolescents who participated in the study testified to downloading songs from the Internet, most of them doing so frequently, not just on a one time basis. For most of the study participants (80%), downloading music from the Internet was not considered stealing. In order to measure moral judgment with regard to dilemmas relating to copyrights and music, we utilized Addad’s ‘moral-judgment profile’ (1988), which is composed of five types of decisions: ‘humane-judgment’, ‘self-interest judgment’, ‘normative-judgment’, ‘ambivalent-judgment’ and ‘absence of judgment’. A ‘moral-judgment profile’ is a tool, which expresses the frequency of the practice of the various decision types by a specific individual or group. Less than 5% of the adolescents practiced ‘humane-judgment’ in the dilemma regarding downloading of music from the Internet compared to more than 75% who practiced ‘normative-judgment’, which reflects acceptable behavior with minimal criticism or ‘self-interest judgment’. We revealed a correlation between moral judgment and actual behavior as those who practiced ‘normative-judgment’ or ‘self-interest judgment’ tended to download music more frequently than others, while those who practiced ‘humane-judgment’ tended to download less frequently. A similar correlation was revealed between ‘humane-judgment’ and seeing downloading as stealing, as those who feel that downloading is not stealing tend to choose ‘normative-judgment’ more often than those who regard downloading music as theft. Gender differences were revealed only in regard to the frequency of downloading. More differences based on religiosity, Internet experience (in years) and average daily Internet use (in hours) were found. Differences relating to age were not revealed.

For full text of the paper, please contact the authors.

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