Half of EU says yes to illegal Downloads
by: FFE EU News Staff
According to a study conducted by the EU trademarks office, 96% of Europeans believe that artists should protect their intellectual property (IP) rights. However, 42% also said that downloading music and movies illegally for personal use was acceptable.
The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) concluded that while a vast majority believed that the work of artists should be protected, many do not hesitate to commit copyright offences.
OHIM observed that young people were more likely to commit this offence. They said that 57% or more than half of 15–24-year-olds found illegal downloading acceptable. When asked if they committed this offence recently 26% of the 15-24 age group admitted they have. 17% of the 25-34 group, 9% of the 35-44 group, 5% of the 45-54 group and 2% of those over 55 meanwhile owned up.
Men were also more likely to download illegally than women. 13% of men said they committed the offence last year while only 6% of women did the same.
OHIM also observed that educational attainment played a significant role: the longer a person stayed in school, the more likely he or she was prone to illegally downloading content.
The office explained that the contradictory views on IP rights and illegal download lies in the fact that people simply do not equate the two. Their report said ‘A large majority of EU citizens display strong support for IP and yet consider that, at a personal level, breaking these rules may be justified to cope with the consequences of limited purchasing power or to protest against an economic model driven by a market economy and premium brands..
‘This apparent contradiction highlights the gap that exists between shared principles (that would apply when considering society at large) and the realities of pragmatic and probably more self-centred individual way of life.’
In the EU, part of the problem was linked to lack of awareness that content can be downloaded legally. Around 80% of Europeans said that if affordable options are accessible, then they would choose that over illegal downloads.