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Irish among the biggest buyers of fake goods in the EU

One in three find it acceptable to buy fake goods if the original price is too high. Photo: Stephen Hamilton

Laura Lynott

Irish consumers are among the biggest buyers of counterfeit goods, according to a new EU survey.

Half of Irish people aged between 15 and 24 years believe it is acceptable to buy fake goods if the price for the genuine product is too high.

New research by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has highlighted that the majority of Europeans are concerned that counterfeiting supports criminals and ruins businesses and jobs.

However, Irish consumers are more likely to buy counterfeits.

Some 19pc of people here have intentionally bought fake goods, compared to 24pc in Bulgaria, 20pc in Spain, 19pc in Luxembourg, 18pc in Romania and 8pc in Finland.

Most Europeans who took part in the survey were worried about the illegal activity.

Some 83pc believe counterfeiting supports unethical behavior and two-thirds see it as a threat to health, safety and to the environment.

However, one in three still find it acceptable to buy fake goods if the original price is too high.

Around 13pc said they had bought counterfeit goods intentionally in the past year. Only 6pc of those aged 55 to 64 bought counterfeits in the last 12 months.‚Äč

A lower price on original products remains the most mentioned reason (43pc) to stop buying fakes. The risk of bad experiences (bad quality products for 27pc of people, safety risks for 25pc, and punishment for 21pc) is also a key driver to stop consumers from buying fakes.

Uncertainty regarding authenticity is also an increasing concern. Almost four in 10 Europeans (39pc) have wondered whether they have bought a counterfeit, while half of young people (52pc) stated the same, 41pc also wondered whether a source access was legal or not.

In terms of piracy, 82pc of Europeans believe obtaining digital content through illegal sources entails a risk of harmful practices, such as scams or inappropriate content for children.

Europeans are generally opposed to the use of pirated content with 80pc saying they prefer to use legal sources to access online content if an affordable option is available.

However, a large majority (65pc) consider it acceptable to pirates when content is not available on their subscription.

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