EUIPO publishes final report about ‘Youth and Intellectual Property’

By EDRi · April 20, 2016

On Wednesday 6 April the “European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO, formerly known as OHIM)” published its report on ‘Youth and IP’, which followed the 2013 study on “European Citizens and Intellectual Property: Perception, Awareness and Behaviour”. The survey tracks citizens’ perception of “intellectual property” (“IP”) and the relevant drivers of consumer behaviour.

................................................................. Support our work - make a recurrent donation! .................................................................

The study is relevant in light of a planned copyright reform on the European level which is supposed to replace the current outdated and fragmented regime. The study is based on the views of over 26,500 European young people and examines the perception of young citizens related to “IP”. It analyses the reasons behind infringements. Among other conclusions, the report shows that law-abiding citizens do not just turn into “criminals” when they go online. Unsurprisingly, the incoherence and lack of modernisation of the current copyright regime brings uncertainty ofr EU young citizens with regard to copyright.

22% of youth did not know if they were using legal or illegal sources to access content
13% used illegal sources by “accident” and 24% of youth could not tell the difference between legal and illegal source of digital content.

On average, 78% of EU citizens say they always choose affordable legal offers as opposed to illegal offers.
19% of EU citizens wondered whether a site for downloading music or videos was legal, but only 12% tried to check it (42%/26% for those aged 15-24).

Furthermore, the survey sends another message: The gap between “IP” perceptions and behaviour may also find its source in the fact that Europeans feel “IP” mostly benefits businesses and an elite class. As a result of this Europeans name as the main beneficiaries of “IP”:
43% big businesses and show businesses
37% inventors, 31% creators
20% artists, 16% SMEs
15% politicians

Finally, the report examines the reasons and justifications for the intentional use of unauthorised sources amongst young people. The results range from financial reasons to practicability or the desire to protest against “rich artists”. The report shows that 22% of youngsters feel downloading from an unauthorised source is acceptable if there is no legal alternative and 42% think downloading is acceptable when it is for personal use.

If the new legal framework wants to bring an end to this outdated and unaccepted system, we must rethink which role and purpose copyright should have in our society. Future-oriented legislation must therefore go hand in hand with freedom of expression and information, the right to science and culture balanced with a appropriate remuneration for creators. The copyright reform initiated by the European Commission needs to take all of thiese issues into consideration aand go for a broad, ambitious and innovative reform of the EU copyright law and not only paper over some of the problems.

EUIPO:Full report- Intellectual Property and Youth Scoreboard 2016 (04/2016)

EUIPO: Executive summary – Intellectual Property and Youth Scoreboard 2016 (04/2016)

EDRi: Commission launches consultations on ancillary copyright and panorama (06.04.2016)

EDRi: Copyright reform: Restoring the facade of a decrepit building. (16.12.2015)

(Contribution by Claudius Determann, intern at EDRi)