17 J. World Intell. Prop. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/jwip17 and id is 1 raw text is: 



                                       The Journa of World Inte lectua  Property (2014) Vol. 17, no. 1-2, pp. 1-15
                                                                               doi: 10.1002/Jwip.12018


Parallel Norms: File-Sharing and Contemporary

Copyright Development in Australia

Stefan  Larsson
Lund University Internet Institute

Susan   Wnukowska-Mtonga
Australian National University, and Lund University Internet Institute

Mans   Svensson
Lund University Internet Institute

Marcin   de Kaminski
Lund University Internet Institute


This article studies contemporary Australian copyright and contrasts this to a large-scale online survey on file sharing
in order to analyse the seemingly parallel and non-compliant legal and social norms that they represent. Furthermore, a
selection of 3,575 Australian respondents to an online survey is compared to a near global group of over 96,000
respondents, allowing determining distinctive traits of the Australian respondents. For example, the latter use offline
methods for sharing and receive rather than distribute content to a higher extent in comparison to the global group of
respondents. Furthermore, Australian respondents also have slightly less predominance of male sharers.
Keywords  parallel norms; copyright; file-sharing; Australia



Introduction
What  type of a crime is online copyright infringement, often referred to as online piracy? How do we
come  to terms with it? Given its commonness, a multitude of studies released show how a majority of
primarily the younger generation has file-shared copyright-protected files, or in general does not feel that
there is something wrong  with this (cf. Andersson Schwarz  and Larsson, 2014; de Kaminski  et al.,
2013; Feldman   and Nadler, 2006;  Gracz, 2013; Karaganis  et al., 2012; Larsson, 2013a; Poort and
Leenheer, 2012; Svensson  and Larsson, 2012). This particular behaviour, which may be at odds with a
near globally homogenous  regulation, is closely connected to digital development and takes part in a
context with strong political and industrial influences. This makes it a challenging problem but also an
interesting one, which, to compare it to Nelken's account on white-collar crime, appears to straddle the
crucial boundary between criminal and non-criminal behaviour (Nelken, 2012, p. 631). The dilemma that
Nelken identifies is that many white-collar crimes are merely technically criminal and are not socially
considered on par with ordinary crimes and therefore do not satisfy the requirements of a sociological
definition of crime (2012, p. 632). In other words, how the particular crime of illegal file-sharing is
regarded in general, is of great interest here. As discussed below, the social norm among important groups
in society does not follow the legal norm. Perhaps, in the case of illegal file-sharing we need to call the
concept of using the law to draw the line into question. Anyhow, the binary approach on criminal or
non-criminal behaviour clearly needs to be problematized here. Yet again reminded by Nelken's analysis
ofwhite-collar crime, it is possible that online piracy, like white-collar crime, illustrates the possibility of
divergence between legal, social, and political definitions of criminality-but in so doing it reminds us of
the artificiality of all definitions of crime (Nelken, 2012, p. 632).


C 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


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