Vast majority of Europeans believe it is vital that artists can protect their intellectual property, but almost half have a "paradoxical" view that it is acceptable to illegally download content
An EU study reveals that 96 per cent of people agree it is vital to protect intellectual property (IP) rights, but that 42 per cent also believe it is acceptable to illegally download music and films for personal use. This rises to 57 per cent among those aged between 15 and 24-years-old.
The research by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), which stores and enforces trade marks and patents in the EU, found that Europeans were “largely favourable” to IP laws designed to protect the work of artists and inventors, but that many also had no qualms about committing copyright offences.
Some nine per cent of Europeans admitted that they had illegally downloaded files in the last year. Young people were more likely to have pirated music or films recently, with 26 per cent of those aged between 15 and 24 owning up, falling to 17 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds, nine per cent of those aged 35 to 44, five per cent of those between 45 and 54 years old and only two per cent of those over 55.
Men were disproportionately more likely to have illegally downloaded content than women, with 13 per cent of admitting to having done it in the last year versus only six per cent of women.