The vast majority of UK consumers count themselves as 'ethical' while at the same time admitting that they would buy pirated software, new research has found.
The YouGov survey commissioned by Microsoft claims that almost nine out of 10 respondents counted themselves as ethical consumers. Yet 43 per cent own goods they know to be counterfeit, and 23 per cent knowingly acquired pirated software.
"This YouGov survey shows a higher than expected number of people who say they believe in protecting intellectual property, but at the same time are buying counterfeit software," said Alex Hilton, Microsoft's anti-piracy manager.
"Software is no different to any other product; most consumers would not dream of stealing software from a store, yet they perceive no issue with illegally downloading or copying intellectual property."
To further highlight the double standards, three quarters of people believed that 'ideas belong to those who created them' but almost half would buy goods at 'prices too good to be true'.
The Business Software Alliance estimated last year that a 10 per cent reduction in piracy would provide £2.5bn extra government revenue a year.
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