Last Updated on Thursday, 15 June, 2023 at 9:24 am by Andre Camilleri
Malta, with 22%, has the highest percentage of people who have admitted to accessing pirated content, mainly to watch sports, in the last 12 months out of any European country, a study conducted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) revealed.
Overall, the average of Europeans who admit to having intentionally accessed content via illegal sources in the last 12 months was 14%. The lowest percentage of people to have admitted to accessing pirated content was Finland at 9%.
However, 51% of Maltese people have paid to access from a legal source in the past 12 months, which is above the European average of around 40%.
Although 80% of Europeans say that they prefer to use legal sources to access online content if there is an affordable option, 65% consider it acceptable to use pirated content when content is not available on their subscription.
The study revealed that over 80% of people found it harmful to buy counterfeit products and obtain digital content through illegal sources.
Nevertheless, 31% of Europeans still find it acceptable to purchase fake goods when the price of the original is too high, rising to 50% in the case of young European consumers between the ages of 15-24.
13% of Europeans have also reported having bought counterfeit products intentionally in the last 12 months, with the figure rising to 26% for young people. The country that purchases the most fake items intentionally is Bulgaria with 24% and the least was Finland with 8%.
Having said that, 39% have questioned whether they have bought a counterfeit product, while 52% of young people said the same.
The Executive Director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, said: “Understanding citizens’ perceptions helps to engage in meaningful conversations with consumers and stakeholders alike, as part of our awareness and outreach activities. The latest edition of the IP Perception study provides new relevant insights into the perception of infringement of intellectual property rights and underlines once more the need to support consumer protection. It also confirms positive developments regarding the awareness and availability of digital content from legal sources.”