A Reversed Context Analysis of Software Piracy Issues in Singapore

The level of software piracy and reasons underlying the behavior among students in Singapore was investigated using the reversed context analysis previously used by Moores and Dhillon in a study of Hong Kong. This technique presented the respondents with a set of context statements that describe the buying and using of pirated software in terms of high availability, high cost, and low censure. The contexts were reversed (low availability, low cost, high censure) in order to determine whether targeting one or more of these reasons would lead the respondents to stop the behavior. The same instrument was used here with a sample of 462 students. The results showed general agreement with those of the Hong Kong study, although the level of pirating behavior was lower, with a weaker switch from agreement to disagreement when the context involved cost. A closer examination of the respondents revealed a set of respondents that frequently bought and used pirated software and seemed resistant to any of the reversed scenarios. This suggests that even in culturally similar markets different approaches may be required to combat software piracy.