EUIPO survey: Widespread support for intellectual property rights among EU citizens

Alicante, 28 March 2017 - An EU-wide survey carried out by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shows that 97% of all EU citizens believe it is important that inventors, creators and performing artists can protect their rights and be paid for their work.

The survey questioned 26,555 people aged 15 and over across the EU-28 about their perceptions of intellectual property. It confirms the overall results of a similar survey conducted by EUIPO in 2013.

70% of those surveyed said that nothing can justify the purchase of counterfeit goods, and 78% believed buying counterfeits had a negative effect on businesses and jobs. However, the survey shows there appears to be more tolerance for buying counterfeits, in particular among young people.

15% of 15-24 year olds say they intentionally purchased a counterfeit product in the past 12 months, 9 percentage points more than in 2013. Moreover, in the context of the ongoing economic crisis, 41% of young people said they felt it was acceptable to buy counterfeits if the original product was too expensive.

Three quarters of all respondents said they would stop purchasing counterfeits if affordable alternatives were available. 83% said they prefer to access digital content through legal or authorised services whenever there is an affordable option available, and 71% of those admitting to using illegal sources say they would stop, if they could access affordable alternative options. 27% of those surveyed said they had paid for content from legal sources, 7 percentage points higher than in 2013, with 69% believing that legal sources are of a better quality.

Among the 15-24 age group, 41% said they had paid to access content from legal sources, which is 8 percentage points higher than in 2013. The percentage of respondents who said that they knowingly accessed pirated content has not changed since 2013 (27% of 15-24 year olds and 10% of all respondents).

However, confusion is growing about what constitutes a legal source. Last year, 24% of respondents, five percentage points more than in 2013, wondered if an online source was legal, rising to 41% among young people. Additionally, 10% of respondents said they were misled when buying products.

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