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A quarter of EU citizens aged between 15 and 24 have admitted to intentionally using illegal sources to access online content in the past 12 months.
Most say they do this because it is free, or cheaper than accessing content from legal sources, according to a new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which surveyed young people in each of the 28 EU Member States, seeking better to understand how young EU citizens behave online, and to explore the main drivers and barriers for them in acquiring online content and physical goods both legally and illegally.
Films and series were the most accessed types of content from illegal sources, followed by music and games.
Nearly one in four believed that they were doing nothing wrong in accessing digital content from illegal sources for personal use, and a third considered that content from illegal sources was easier to find and quicker to access than content from legal sources.
Six out of ten young Europeans say they would stop using illegal sources to access digital content if more affordable content from legal sources was available.
The report also shows a sharp difference in attitudes among young people between illegally accessing digital content and buying counterfeit goods online.
Only 12 per cent of those questioned said they have intentionally bought counterfeit products online in the past 12 months, mostly counterfeit clothes, accessories and footwear, with over half saying they did so because it was cheaper than buying the real thing.
However, the vast majority of young people do not buy counterfeit products online. Over half of all those questioned say they do not trust the sites which sell counterfeit goods, and 20 per cent say they are afraid of their data being misused if they make a purchase.
António Campinos, EUIPO Executive Director said the study helped with the understanding of young digital natives, exploring how they behave online and measuring the scale of the challenge in changing their attitudes. “I trust it will support our collective efforts to develop IP education and awareness initiatives which can connect with young Europeans, as well as providing valuable information for policy makers.”
According to the results of the report: