Around 54 per cent of Cypriot consumers are not sure whether the products they buy are genuine or not, according to a study carried out by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), responsible for managing the EU trade mark and registered designs.
The study also revealed that 17 per cent of people interviewed in Cyprus said they intentionally buy counterfeit products on a regular basis, slightly above the EU average of 13 per cent.
Eighty per cent of people in the EU believe that criminal organisations are behind counterfeit goods and believe that buying such products destroys businesses and jobs.
The study also focused on internet piracy and its effects on the EU’s economy and job sector.
Roughly 82 per cent of people living in the EU agree that acquiring digital content through illegal sources carries the risk of harmful practices, such as fraud or exposure to age-restricted content.
In Cyprus, 16 per cent of people interviewed by the EUIPO admitted to having accessed online content illegally, especially when it comes to watching sports matches.
On the other hand, 46 per cent of people on the island have paid to access content from a legal source in the past year.
EU residents are generally opposed to the use of pirated content. In fact, 80 per cent said they prefer to use legitimate sources to access online content if an affordable option is available.
However, a large majority of people in the EU, estimated at 65 per cent, still consider piracy acceptable when content is not available on their subscription service.
“Understanding people’s perceptions contributes to meaningful discussions with both consumers and stakeholders in awareness-raising and outreach activities,” EUIPO’s executive director Christian Archambeau said while commenting on the results of the study.
“The latest edition of the EUIPO study provides relevant new information on people’s perception of intellectual property infringements and underlines once again the need to support consumer protection.”