Almost half of British 18 to 29 year-olds own counterfeit goods, as do over a quarter of their parents, according to figures released today.
A survey of 2,180 people, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), found considerable differences between different age groups in their attitudes to pirated goods.
Some 44 per cent of 18 to 29 year-olds own pirated intellectual property, compared to 28 per cent for the 30 to 50 age group. This fell to 17 per cent for the over 50s.
"This makes grim reading," said BSA spokesman Mike Newton. "There is a growing generation that lacks the respect for intellectual property on which manufacturers of things like music rely. The internet is clearly a major route for pirate traffic."
The survey found that there is little stigma to owning pirated goods. Only eight per cent of 18 to 29 year-olds said that their family or friends would definitely disapprove of their actions, compared to 15 per cent for 30 to 50 year-olds.
Even the over 50s thought that three quarters of their family or friends would not be bothered by the fact that they owned pirated material.
Bryan Lewis, lead officer for counterfeiting at the Trading Standards Institute, said: "I don't think there's a stigma to owning counterfeit goods. It's similar to drink driving: there wasn't a stigma about it, but there is now.
"Consumer education is critical, as we need to make people more aware of the activities behind counterfeiting. There are well made links between counterfeiting and serious organised crime."
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