Friday, September 18, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, Third Floor

Modeling Of Software Piracy As A Complex Adaptive System

Jessica Wang, PhD Candidate
Information Technology
George Mason University

ABSTRACT: Succeeding under rampant software piracy is a critical task for software publishers today. The majority of research on software piracy focus either on developing anti-piracy technologies or adjusting the marketing strategies to reduce the damage caused by software piracy. However, software piracy could also bring benefits to software publishers, that is, it may accelerate the diffusion of innovations. So far, only a few scholars have realized the positive influence of software piracy, and even fewer scholars have tried to develop strategies to control and manipulate software piracy in order to utilize its positive influence. In this paper, I build a model to simulate a computer software market as a complex adaptive system. The model presents effective marketing strategies that help software publishers utilize software piracy to speed up a new product diffusion process, maximize market shares and profits, and minimize costs. Those marketing strategies are able to dynamically adjust various marketing factors, including prices, promotion costs, and piracy detection costs through the entire diffusion cycle. In addition, the model demonstrates how the speed of the diffusion depends on the structure of social networks, locations of the pirates and the heterogeneity of consumers.