The 2022 edition of the Intellectual Property and Youth Scoreboard -which was released by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in June- is a survey about the behaviors of EU youth (aged 15 to 24) regarding IPR infringement.
The survey analysis 2 main trends of IP infringement:
- Physical goods: “EU youth purchasing counterfeit goods”
- Digital content: “EU youth accessing pirated content”
In summary, the outcome of the 2022 survey confirms that 52% of the EU youth had bought at least one fake product online (intentionally or by accident), and 33% had accessed illegal content online, which are both recognized as worrying trends.
Let’s look a bit deeper into the details of these trends.
Purchase of counterfeit physical goods
The new survey confirmed that 37% of young people bought one or several fake products “intentionally”.
The highest percentage of buying counterfeit products by EU youth occurred in Greece (62%) and the lowest in Czechia (24%).
The survey results also confirm that young people in EU most commonly buy counterfeit clothes and accessories (17%). This is followed by counterfeit footwear (14%) and counterfeit electronic devices (13%). The purchase of counterfeit hygiene, cosmetics, personal care products and perfumes (12%) comes next.
Accessing pirated digital content
Although majority of young people surveyed stated that they prefer legal sources of digital content over pirated content – however, 21 % of EU youth confirmed that they had intentionally accessed pirated content within the last 12 months. According to the survey results, there are 3 main types of pirated digital content that EU youth accessed: Films (61%), TV series (52%) and music (36%).
The reasons behind buying counterfeit goods and accessing pirated digital content
According to the survey results, “price” and “availability” are the main reasons for buying counterfeit goods and accessing pirated content (intentionally). Also, the survey results reveal that EU youth are misled into buying counterfeit goods and it is difficult for them to distinguish genuine goods from counterfeits (37% of the respondents).
The same reason is valid for accessing pirated content. 12% of the respondents confirmed that that they accessed pirated digital content by accident.
The respondents also mentioned that the other factors are “perceiving no difference between original and fake products” and “the ease of finding or ordering fake products online”.
The current trend of buying fake goods and accessing pirated content is worrisome for EU. However, the EU youth surveyed also seems to have recognized the personal risks of cyberthreats and importance of stopping the IPR infringement.
This survey provides a good opportunity for EU policy makers to take actions against counterfeit goods and IPR infringement and as well as rising the awareness of EU youth about IPR rights.