“Others Do It More” Drives Music Pirates

College students who swipe and share music online–despite the strenuous efforts of authorities to point out that it's illegal–do so not only because they believe that, morally, they are in the right, but also because they feel others are doing it even more. That's according to a study in the journal Cyberpsychology and Behavior.

Working to change those social assumptions, rather than threatening lawsuits or criminal charges, might do more to discourage such behavior, the report says. "The most effective strategy might be to convince heavy downloaders that their behavior is out of line with their peers," write Robert LaRose, of Michigan State University, and Junghyun Kim, of Kent State University.

Of course, light downloaders might learn from the same strategy that others are indeed worse than they are, and feel even more justified in their actions. –Josh Fischman

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