[A2k] Global copyright research released: consumers will pay for affordable originals

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Mon Aug 30 20:03:44 PDT 2010

The biggest barriers that consumers face in accessing copyright works are those created by copyright law. Even so, consumers around the world will choose original copyright works over pirated copies, provided that they are available at an affordable price.

These are amongst the findings from a global survey of consumers conducted by Consumers International (CI), conducted in 13 languages and covering 15,000 consumers across 24 countries. The survey was designed to determine what obstacles consumers faced in gaining access to educational and cultural materials and software.

CI found that consumers, even in developing countries, would be more likely to buy original rather than pirated copies of copyright works, if they provided high quality at a low enough cost. For those who could not afford to buy, borrowing offered an alternative – but particularly in developing countries, access to libraries is limited and the works they carry are few.

Whilst the means to copy and use copyright works were accessible to most consumers, others reported problems with digital locks and with limitations on the ability to access works at their time and place of choice.

Part of the solution to the access barriers that consumers face is the wider use of open content, such as Open Educational Resources (OER) and free and open source software (FOSS). Our survey found that most consumers are aware of these alternatives, and ready to give them a try.

But the rest of the solution to the access gap lies in the hands of governments and the private sector, who need to address consumers' needs for lower cost original materials to buy, borrow and access online.

Download now in English (as the first two chapters of our book Access to Knowledge for Consumers: Reports of Campaigns and Reports 2008-2010), Español or Français (as stand-alone reports).

Jeremy Malcolm
Project Coordinator
Consumers International
Kuala Lumpur Office for Asia Pacific and the Middle East
Lot 5-1 Wisma WIM, 7 Jalan Abang Haji Openg, TTDI, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 3 7726 1599

CI is 50
Consumers International marks 50 years of the global consumer movement in 2010.
Celebrate with us as we continue to support, promote and protect consumer rights around the world. 

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