Indiana Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2014

Publication Citation

89 Indiana Law Journal 1299 (2014)


Since file sharing emerged in the late 1990s, copyright infringement has been widespread and virtually impervious to legal sanctions. Despite the best efforts of industry representatives and the lawmakers acting at their behest, attempts to scare and shame copyright infringers into compliance with the law have fallen flat. Part I of this Note discusses the ongoing conflict between modern copyright law and socially acceptable behavior, specifically copyright infringement through digital means. Part II explores the various attempts, and subsequent failures, to curb infringement through deterrence measures. Part III explains why deterrence has been ineffective by exploring psychological models of law-abiding behavior and their implications for copyright, given what we know of infringing behavior. Part IV explores the education and publicity campaigns that have been implemented in an attempt to change the public’s perception of copyright infringement. Part IV also explains under a psychological approach why these campaigns have been unsuccessful. Part V draws on a cognitive approach to jurisprudence to advocate for a new form of copyright to supplement and work around the failing current paradigm.