30 | 11 | 2020
The Study on “European Citizens and Intellectual Property – Perception, Awareness and Behaviour“
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published the third edition of the study dealing with perception of European citizens regarding intellectual property rights and the extent to which European citizens respect these rights, originally titled “European Citizens and Intellectual Property: Perception, Awareness and Behaviour - 2020“.
The first such study was published in 2013, the second one in 2017, and with preparing this study, there were 25 636 interviews in total conducted with residents of the European Union aged 15 and above, with the questions used largely similar to the previous study, to allow for comparable results.
This study confirms that a vast majority of European citizens, 98% of them, agree that it is important that inventors, creators and performing artists are able to protect their rights and be paid for their work (as was the case in 2017 - 97%). In relation to the previous study, the proportion of Europeans who think that intellectual property protection is most beneficial to creators of artistic content has doubled (from 10% in 2017 to 20% in 2020).
The study shows that Europeans tend to be aware of the negative effects of counterfeit goods on the economy and health and safety of customers and they mainly do not accept justifications that buying such goods would be acceptable, where young people (under 24 years old) are more likely to accept justifications for purchasing counterfeit goods and they tend to admit that they purchased a counterfeit. The study also indicates that the proportion of Europeans who admit to having intentionally purchased counterfeit goods has declined from 7% in 2017 to 5% in 2020, and the same percentage for 2020 can be observed for the Republic of Croatia as well (graph on page 31 of the study).
Furthermore, the study shows that accessing pirated online content is becoming less and less acceptable among European citizens (the content infringing copyright), and awareness of legal offers of online content is significantly higher in 2020 compared to 2017. Thus, more than two-thirds of European citizens are aware of the availability of legal content offered in the field of music, films and TV series, and such awareness is higher with younger age groups. Users will prefer legal online content if it is made available at a reasonable price, so that as many as 89% of subjects declared to prefer to access protected content through legal e-services rather than illegal websites, if the price is affordable.
According to this survey, 42% of Europeans pay to use copyright-protected content from legal services on the internet, which represents an increase of 17 percentage points in relation to 2017. The share of Croatian citizens who pay to use copyright-protected content on the internet accounts for 24%, whereas the same reference for 2017 was only 14% (graph on page 44 of the study). However, in spite of the increase as recorded, this indicator ranked Croatia last among Member States of the European Union.
The full report, and the executive summary in Croatian, is available via the following link.