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Europeans’ IP habits laid bare

Nine out of 10 Europeans have not bought counterfeit products or downloaded illegally in the past 12 months, according to a report on perceptions of IP published by OHIM this week

The report was based on research among people in the 28 EU member states. Among its findings were:

  • 9% of citizens have accessed/downloaded or streamed illegal content from the internet intentionally in the past 12 months

  • 4% have purchased counterfeit goods intentionally, while 6% have purchased counterfeit goods as a result of being misled

  • 34% say that buying counterfeit goods allows making a smart purchase, while 38% say it is an act of protest against large premium brands

  • 22% consider it acceptable to download illegal content when there is no legal alternative, and 42% consider it is acceptable when it is for personal use

  • 96% say it is important that inventors, performers and creative artists can protect their rights and be paid for their work; 86% agree protecting IP is important for improving and guaranteeing the quality of products and services

  • 81% agree with the statement “buying counterfeit products ruins businesses and jobs”

  • 84% disagree with the statement “it is acceptable to buy counterfeit products when it concerns luxury products” while 75% disagree with “it is acceptable to buy counterfeit products when the price for the original is too high”

  • 73% state that they have a good understanding of “intellectual property” but only 13% demonstrate a good knowledge

The report concluded that “IP and its main related terms are more heard than really understood in detail by Europeans”.

The research was carried out by Edelman Berland from December 2012 to August 2013. It comprised a literature review, qualitative investigation and quantitative stage.

The research covered all 28 EU member states, while in-depth interviews and focus groups were held in nine representative member states. In total, over 26,500 Europeans expressed their views through a telephone questionnaire.

The report also examines activity by demographic. For example, 26% of 15 to 24 year olds had downloaded or accessed copyright-protected content illegally in the past 12 months, while men were twice as likely to download illegally as women.

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