The current study addresses theft of copyrighted music files on the Internet and the perceived effects of media reports surrounding lawsuits brought against individual music file sharers in September, 2003. Professors in several undergraduate communication classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology collected survey responses from 157 participants. Participants were asked to respond to questions related to perceived effect of these news reports on themselves and on others about lawsuits filed by the RIAA against music file sharers. The results of this study were inconsistent with the many previous studies on third-person effect, in that respondents did not perceive others to be more influenced by news reports about lawsuits brought against individual music file sharers than they themselves were.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Copyright--United States; Internet; Mass media--Influence; Intellectual property--United States

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Communication (CLA)


Bruce Austin

Advisor/Committee Member

Jennifer Gravitz

Advisor/Committee Member

Rudy Pugliese


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at KF3030.1 .O45 2004


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