Journal of International Information Management


Software piracy is reported as an ongoing problem for software developers and vendors. Significant revenue is lost when illegal copies of software are utilized, estimated by some to exceed $8 billion per year. Of particular concern are estimates that the problem is increasing, especially in those countries that have lax or no laws to protect intellectual property. Research was conducted to evaluate the attitudes and practices of selected first year Australian university students towards software copying practices. The findings show that respondents were most likely to let someone copy their software to gain favor, and students behave in a more ethical manner when they consider the consequences of their copying. The study also found that males were generally less ethical, and with this sample about 25% had illegally copied software and 25% had let someone illegally copy their software. The results were generally consistent with recent studies using populations from other countries.