EUIPO: 21% of EU youth accessed pirate content intentionally in past year

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Measuring the use of legal and illegal online sources among Europeans between the ages of 15 and 24, The 2022 IP Youth Scoreboard was part of the Pan European Awareness Campaign for World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.  Last conducted in 2019, this triennial survey found that 37% of young people intentionally purchased at least one fake product over the past 12 months, up from a previous survey. Social influences toward piracy were found to be on the rise.

Released by the European Union Intellectual Property Office, it said that the 21% rate for young consumers that accessed pirated content online was ‘stable.’   But it also found that access from legal sources increased to 60%, from 50% in 2019 and 40% in 2016.  Consumption of counterfeit physical goods such as clothing and cosmetics by that age bracket was also measured.

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Accessing digital content, intentionally or unintentionally. EU youth, ages 15-24. Source: EUIPO 2022

Key consumer drivers

No surprise: key drivers toward piracy are lower cost (55% of respondents), and availability only through illegal channels (25%).  47% of those surveyed said that lower cost and greater availability through legal channels would also be a deterrent.

But also, young consumers are tempered by a growing awareness of cyberfraud (40%), cyberthreats (41%) and risk of punishment (29%).  They also may be influenced by the negative impact of piracy on society and on the environment.

Results varied by country and education level

The intentional use of illegal sources “remained above average among males and young people with a high level of education.”  Fifteen percent of those with secondary education accessed pirated content, rising to 28% among those with university or post-graduate degrees.

Piracy consumption by country ranged from 12% in Germany to 29% in Belgium.

Intentional use of illegal sources, by country. Source: EUIPO 2022

The main types of digital content sought from illegal sources were films (61%), TV series/shows (52%) and to a lesser degree, music (36%), software (35%), games (33%), live sports events (35% and e-books (32%).”

Dedicated piracy Web sites were the most popular illegal distribution channels.

Access the 2021, 2019 and 2016 releases of the EUIPO IP Youth Scoreboard

Read the EUIPO summary press release (June 9, 2022)

Why it matters

EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau said, “This new analysis should provide a valuable actionable tool to help stakeholders, policy makers as well as educators and civil society organisations shape awareness raising initiatives to support the informed choices of our young citizen and consumers.”

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