Cultural and creative content represents the livelihood of millions of people today. Copyright is the economic foundation stimulating creation, innovation, investment, production and dissemination of their content across Europe and beyond. Without an adequate level of IPR protection, the diversity that the cultural and creative industries offer would simply disappear. Thus the trends displayed by the latest European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)’s survey of 15-24 year olds’ online consumption habits are very worrying for CW!. This survey shows that a quarter of the young Europeans asked admitted to intentionally using illegal sources to access online content over the past 12 months, citing convenience and prices. In particular, the fact that nearly one in four of those surveyed believe there is nothing wrong in accessing digital content from illegal sources for personal use is a serious cause of concern.

CW! believes that the survey highlights the need for more and better information about the risks of piracy and its consequences, as well as the need to continue to provide the public with easy-to-access information on the rapidly-expanding range of legal offers online.

Today, there are over 3,000 audiovisual services online platforms in Europe through which consumers can access their favourite TV programmes, music, e-books, games, movies and sports in their own languages (for an overview please see our page). These offers are expanding by the day. Dozens of public awareness-raising campaigns have been launched over the years about the negative impact of piracy and counterfeiting such as Operation Creative in the UK, Respect Creativity in Italy, Contrefaçon non merci in France, Ante las falsificaciones, no seas cómplice in Spain, Zrób to SAMo! Do the SAMe! In Poland or Intellektika in Estonia (for a comprehensive overview, we suggest you visit the EUIPO Public Awareness Campaign register).

CW! members are taking this effort one step further by contributing to the development of a European platform showcasing legal offers soon to be launched by the EUIPO. This one stop shop will offer comprehensive information about legal digital content offers across Europe. We hope that this will help young Europeans to make informed decisions as consumers online and to better protect the livelihoods of the millions of their fellow Europeans who work in the creative industries.