Ana B. Gómez-Bellvís, collaborator of Plus Ethics, has recently published an article in the Spanish journal “InDret” about intellectual property rights . In it, Gómez-Bellvís presents a study carried out within the NEXO project that deals with the factors associated with compliance in the field of intellectual property.
The norms that protect intellectual property from both civil and criminal law, have been subject to a huge amount of modifications since 1995, especially to adapt the infringement behaviours to the new means of commission: ICT and Internet. However, the prevalence of intellectual property infringing behaviour on the Internet is still on the rise and it does not seem that increasing the scope of criminalization and the severity of the sanctions have had a special impact on the social habits that infringe intellectual property.
For the completion of her study, Gómez-Bellvís has got a sample of 822 subjects. The purpose of her research was to analyse the prevalence of different intellectual property infringement behaviours on the Internet and determine the influence of factors associated
with compliance. To this end, a design based on previous research on about legal compliance has been used, with the objective of measuring the frequency of behaviours and their relation to the classic variables of the deterrence approach, and variables from other approaches such as social influence and legitimacy approaches.
The results she obtained suggest that compliance with intellectual property on the Internet is more related to the prescriptive and descriptive social norm and to the moral judgment that participants make about their own behaviour than to the classical variables of perceived severity and certainty punishment. Finally, it points to a possibility of improving preventive strategies through the knowledge of how people behave towards certain social phenomena.