The European citizens and intellectual property: perception, awareness and behaviour
IP is one of Europe's most valuable assets, but it is also regularly challenged. With this study we are now providing independent and reliable data, on perceptions and behaviour of European citizens regarding IP and its infringements.
The European citizens and intellectual property (IP) is the first EU-wide survey to perform a comprehensive assessment of citizens' perceptions of IP and the relevant drivers of consumer behaviours.
The survey is launched at a time when IP has never been so present in the day-to-day lives of European citizens. Intellectual property rights cover everything from the food people eat, to the clothes they wear. And through the explosion in digital content and technology, we are now closer to IP than ever before.
European citizens are largely favourable to IPR.
- 96% of Europeans believe that IP is important because it supports innovation and creativity by rewarding inventors, creators and artists
- 86% of those questioned agree that protecting IP contributes to improving the quality of products and services
- 69% value IP because they believe it contributes to the creation of jobs and economic well-being
At individual level, there is a certain level of tolerance for the idea that IP infringements could be considered legitimate.
- An average of 34% of Europeans think 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
- 42% of Europeans think this is acceptable for personal use
Who is behind the study?
The report complements the study "Intellectual Property Rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the EU", and has been commissioned by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), through the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property.
This report has been carried out and delivered by Edelman Berland, a strategic research and consulting firm specialising in stakeholder perceptions and public opinion evaluation.
How was the study conducted?
The research took place between December 2012 and August 2013 and covered the 28 member states of the European Union. It was made up of three phases: a literature review, a qualitative investigation and a quantitative stage.
- The literature review analysed relevant studies and publications on the subject from the last five years.
- The qualitative stage carried out more than 100 hours of discussion with 250 Europeans between 15 and over 65 years old. Focus groups and in depth interviews have been held in a selection of nine Member States: Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the UK.
- In the quantitative process, over 26,500 Europeans expressed their views through a questionnaire carried out by telephone.
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