EU-wide Study: European Citizens and Intellectual Property

“European Citizens and Intellectual Property” is the first EU wide study which provides a comprehensive assessment of citizens’ perceptions of Intellectual Property (IP) and its infringements, both from a qualitative and quantitative point of view.

The study reveals that European citizens value Intellectual Property highly and fully acknowledge its contribution to social and economic well-being. The key findings are:

  • 96% of Europeans believe that Intellectual Property (IP) is important because it supports innovation and creativity by rewarding inventors, creators and artists for their work.
  • 86% agree that protecting IP contributes to improving the quality of products and services.
  • 69% of those questioned value IP because they believe it contributes to the creation of jobs and economic well-being.
  • As a result, they condemn IP infringements.

However at individual level, European citizens express some tolerance for IP infringements, in certain cases. Specifically:

  • An average of 34% of Europeans thinks that buying counterfeit goods can be justified to save money.
  • 38% say purchasing counterfeits can be justified as an act of protest against a market-driven economy.
  • 22% think downloading is acceptable when there is no legal alternative and
  • 42% of Europeans think this is acceptable for personal use.

The full report is fully available: Final report [en].

About Dimitrios Tsolis

Lecturer, Cultural Heritage Management and New Technologies Department University of Western Greece
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