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12° Nicosia,
17 July, 2024
 

17% of Cypriots admit to purchasing fake goods

Price considerations drive the demand for counterfeit products, reveals EU study

Newsroom / CNA

According to a report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Cypriots have admitted to accessing content illegally, particularly for watching sports. The report highlights that 54% of Cypriot consumers are uncertain about the authenticity of a product, and 17% have intentionally purchased counterfeit goods.

The 2023 IP Perception survey aimed to gather insights into European consumers' attitudes toward intellectual property. The survey involved 25,824 online interviews conducted between January 30, 2023, and February 15, 2023, with residents of all EU Member States aged 15 years and older.

The study, published on Monday, reveals that the majority of Europeans claim to have a good understanding of intellectual property. Eighty percent of Europeans agree that counterfeiting supports criminal organizations, harms businesses and jobs, and two-thirds see it as a threat to health, safety, and the environment.

When it comes to piracy, 82% of Europeans believe that obtaining digital content through illegal sources carries risks such as scams or inappropriate content for minors. However, the study also uncovers that one-third of Europeans find it acceptable to buy counterfeits if genuine products are too expensive. Thirteen percent of Europeans intentionally purchased counterfeit goods in the past year.

The proportion of consumers who intentionally purchased fakes varies across countries, ranging from 24% in Bulgaria to 8% in Finland. Apart from Bulgaria, countries with higher rates of intentional counterfeit purchases above the EU average include Spain (20%), Ireland (19%), Luxembourg (19%), and Romania (18%).

Lower prices for genuine products remain the most commonly cited reason (43%) for avoiding counterfeit purchases. Other factors include the risk of a negative experience (such as poor quality or safety risks) and potential penalties.

There are also significant disparities between Member States regarding consumers' uncertainty about the authenticity of purchased products. For instance, around a quarter of consumers in Denmark and the Netherlands (26%) are unsure if their purchases are genuine, compared to 72% in Romania.

European consumers also express uncertainty about the legality of the sources they use for online content, with 41% questioning the legality of accessed sources.

EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau commented that the IP Perception study provides new insights into intellectual property rights infringement and emphasizes the need for consumer protection. The study also indicates positive developments in terms of awareness and availability of legal digital content.

According to the study, the majority of Europeans (80%) prefer to use legal sources to access online content when affordable options are available. Nearly 90% of people are aware of at least one legal option for accessing content in their country, and 43% have paid for copyright-protected material from legal services in the past year. However, 65% of Europeans find piracy acceptable when content is not available through their subscription service.

Furthermore, 14% of Europeans admit to intentionally accessing content from illegal sources in the last year, rising to 33% among 15-24-year-olds, particularly for watching sports using illicit streaming devices or apps.

The proportion of people accessing pirated content varies across countries, ranging from 9% in Finland and Denmark to 22% in Malta.

The EUIPO concludes that better affordability and a wider range of content from legal sources are the primary reasons for moving away from pirated content.

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