Textbook piracy
: exploring the decision to pirate or not

  • Maria Francisca Vieira de Matos Tavares Rebelo (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


While much has been written about the consequences of the digitization of entertainment media (music, movies, etc.) and the best strategies to cope with copyright infringement, there is still little research on the effect of the digitization of books. This raises the question of how the publishing industry can learn from the experience of the entertainment industry. As tablets and e-readers become more prevalent, increasing the attractiveness of digital copies of textbooks and other materials, the issue of copying will become increasingly salient for academic texts. Demand for academic books differs from that of experience goods such as music, movies, or the wider range of books since the primary consumers, students, see textbooks not as cultural items but as a learning tool. This thesis investigates the key factors in students’ decision to acquire textbooks using panel data from a survey of students at Católica-Lisbon School of Business Economics. We model the decision to buy a textbook first using multinomial logit models in which the students’ choice depends not only on the price and quality of the book but also their valuation of a textbook as a study tool. We then attempt to measure each student’s tendency to pirate and incorporate that estimate into the multinomial model. The decision to pirate or not a given book seems to be based primarily on the perceived usefulness of the book, more strongly than price.
Date of Award30 Oct 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCatarina Reis (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Economia

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