Pirates in the Lab: Using Incentivized Choice Experiments to Explore Preference for (Un)Authorized Content

We report a laboratory experiment aimed at investigating factors affecting choice between different versions of a full-length movie. In particular, we estimate the willingness to pay for a legal, rather than pirated copy and compare it to the impact of such characteristics as picture quality or delay in delivery. We find a modest but highly significant preference for the authorized version. By conducting otherwise identical choice experiments both with and without actual experiential and monetary consequences, we conclude that the method does not seem to suffer from hypothetical bias. We also find that when the proceeds from legal sale are transferred to a good cause, willingness to pay for the unauthorized copy is reduced.

Unpublished version

Published version

Marek Giergiczny
Piotr Ćwiakowski