US consumers support increased protection against pirated goods and content
November 30, 2011
By Colin Mann
A national consumer survey conducted by the American Consumer Institute (ACI) has found that the vast majority of consumers support stronger intellectual property protections against trafficking of counterfeit goods. The survey of 800 consumers found 82 per cent of consumers agreed that counterfeit goods, such as ‘knock-off’ products, pirated software and imitation pharmacy drugs hurt the economy, with only 12 per cent disagreeing. Consumers expressed support for increasing criminal penalties to protect against the sale of counterfeit goods, including:
80 per cent supporting legislation to increase criminal penalties for anyone who knowingly sells counterfeit goods, equipment and parts to the US military (with 14 per cent opposing);
- 81 per cent supporting legislation that would increase criminal penalties for anyone who knowingly sells counterfeit drugs and medicines to Americans online (with 13 per cent opposing); and
- 70 per cent supporting legislation that would help block foreign-based Internet websites from trafficking counterfeit goods, content or services to Americans (with 14 per cent opposing).
- Overall, 82 per cent of consumers agreed (including 58 per cent that strongly agreed) that protecting copyrights, trademarks and patents of artists, authors, manufacturers and inventors encourages innovation and creativity, while only 10 per cent disagreed (either somewhat or strongly) with that statement.
“Counterfeiting and piracy is a destructive force that threatens consumers, hurts our economy and costs American jobs,” said ACI president, Steve Pociask. “The survey’s results reveal the public’s understanding of these detrimental effects and provide support for policies to curb intellectual property theft.”