Pupil Awareness Campaign on Counterfeiting and Piracy Phenomena in the Republic of Moldova was organized by AGEPI in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Moldova (MEd) and the Directorate General for Education, Youth and Sports (DGETS) in the period 3 March – 24 October 2014.
Partners of the Campaign were Mobiasbanca–Groupe Societe Generale, Shopping Malldova, European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), Microsoft Moldova and Bestseller.md.
By this action organizers have proposed to inform and aware the young generation, especially ninth and eleventh-grade pupils fr om the preuniversity education institutions (lyceums, secondary schools) from Chisinau about the risks and consequences that counterfeiting and piracy produces on economic, social and cultural development of the country.
Spectacular evolution, recorded in recent years in the field of information technology and distribution networks, significantly increased the complexity and spectrum of damage caused by the phenomena of counterfeiting and piracy. In this context, the formation of a generation of young people well-informed and willing to support the fight against counterfeiting and piracy is a determinant objective in the right enforcement process. Practice in recent years demonstrates that the lack of support from the final consumer substantially minimizes authorities’ efforts in combating these phenomena. Thus, even if the national legislative framework provides, for the most part, the enforcement of owners’ rights and the process of establishment of the institutional system was finalized, however the final result will be achieved only with the full involvement of all components and actors in the field, especially on the part of the society. According to the European experience, the society must be the determining factor in combating counterfeiting and piracy phenomena.
Thus, in order to achieve the goal set forth, organizers of the Campaign have established the following main objectives:
- Raising the level of general culture of pupils regarding intellectual property;
- Raising awareness by the young generation of the need to respect the IP rights;
- Informing the young generation about the negative effects of counterfeiting and piracy;
- Shaping the perception of young generation on counterfeiting and piracy phenomena, and identifying the possible ways for their minimization
To fulfill the objectives of the Campaign, organizers have used a number of products and marketing tools, including:
- thematic lesson on the essence of counterfeiting and piracy phenomena, risks and consequences on the young generation, actions to counter such offences;
- presentation of two video advertising spots on the phenomena of counterfeiting and piracy;
- distribution during the campaign of anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy promotional materials among pupils (knapsacks, pens, notebooks, shirts, etc.);
- consultations offered to pupils during the campaign on ways to counteract counterfeiting and piracy;
- organization of an itinerant exhibition of counterfeit products in educational institutions;
- completion of a questionnaire for assessing pupils’ perception of these phenomena conducted among pupils on their attitude toward plagiarism, piracy or counterfeiting
In order to evaluate the results of the Campaign, organizers have set a number of performance indicators, which de facto have been overcome, among which we should mention:
- The number of educational institutions involved in the project – 68 (50 - plan);
- The number of pupils trained in the action – 6400 (5000 - plan);
- The number of questionnaires completed – 5854 (4500 - up).
Each pupil participating in the campaign received anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy promotional materials, developed and procured with the assistance of partners, in total being distributed – 29,185 copies.
In the Campaign was organized a survey on knowledge and perception of the younger generation on counterfeiting and piracy phenomena in the Republic of Moldova. The content of the questionnaire was developed with the participation of the Ministry of Education and the Chisinau Directorate General for Education, Youth and Sports.
Thus, the survey covered interviewing of 5854 of lyceum pupils. According to survey results, most pupils know the meaning of the terms “piracy”, “plagiarism” and “counterfeiting”. Thus, about 78% of the respondents answered that “piracy” is “illegal downloading of movies, music, books”, and only 6% believe that “piracy is robbing ships by pirates”. 68.6% of the pupils responded that “plagiarism” is “copying a work and presenting it as a personal creation”, 27% of them responded that “plagiarism” means “violation of the author’s moral rights”.
Counterfeiting is perceived by pupils by reproducing or imitating an original product for fraudulent purposes (62.5%) and by the fact that the product is poor (31.2%). Also, about 69% of survey respondents believe the ”population buy counterfeit products” consciously because “they cost less”, 26.9% of them believe that they are “affordable”, while 11% of respondents buy counterfeit products “because there is lack of genuine products”. Being asked if counterfeiting phenomenon is present-day, approximately 71% of pupils responded that counterfeiting “exist in large proportions”, 21.9% responded that it exists in small proportions and only 7.2% of respondents answered that it does not exist.
When asked what are the most requested objects of copyright and related rights downloaded from the Internet, pupils responded: images, music, movies and games. Also, over 30% of respondents download images daily, 42% of them often download music, 47% of pupils download software rarely, and only 40% said they never downloaded books from the Internet. It is gratifying that being asked what kind of software use, illegal or licensed, about 37% of pupils responded that they legally download from the Internet, 30% - illegally, and 20% - legally buy from a specialized shop, and only 5 % answered that they use illegally installed software at the time of purchasing the computer.
When asked “if they have suffered at least once because of illegal use of software”, 46.8% of respondents answered - never, and 5% - answered “very often”. Also, 57.2% download illegally because it is free of charge, 47.5% - that it is affordable, and only 14% of respondents answered that “they do not know that downloading is an illegal act”. At the same time, being asked if they are willing to pay for licensed software, respondents said they would accept to pay, and 38.8% would not accept yet to purchase licensed software.
The study results show that pupils are aware of the fact when buying counterfeit products. Thus, when asked “if they have bought at least once counterfeit products”, 55.9% of respondents answered - YES, and 18.8% - responded with NO. Also, 60.9% of those who have bought consciously did nothing, and only 31.3% have returned the product wh ere they have bought or have changed it, and 7.8% had seized the control bodies.
Finally, pupils mentioned that, to combat piracy and counterfeiting, it must be regulated the administration of certain severe penalties for producers and merchants (46%) and be cheaper the original products, in order that they become accessible to all (37%), be created conditions for legal downloading at an affordable price (43%), users be informed about the risks of counterfeiting and piracy (23%), and 9% responded that the legislative framework should be improved.
From the aforegoing we can conclude that the results expected by the organizers of the Campaign were achieved, namely:
- Pupils have gained additional knowledge on the importance of intellectual property;
- They have gained skills for faster identification of the elements of counterfeiting and piracy;
- It will be reduced the use of pirated and counterfeit products among pupils;
- It was obtained relevant information on the perception of counterfeiting and piracy phenomena.
The results of the Campaign and survey will be cumulated by AGEPI in a Report on knowledge and perception of the younger generation against counterfeiting and piracy in the Republic of Moldova, which will be presented for information to the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Moldova and the Chisinau Directorate General for Education, Youth and Sports to jointly develop recommendations to preuniversity educational institutions in the republic on completing the curriculum of study disciplines with information and general notions of intellectual property.
In accordance with the Plan of conducting the Campaign, for the most active pupils from lyceums of the Chisinau municipality was organized a fall camp (information day). The program of the camp provided the familiarization of pupils with the activity of AGEPI, the organization of study visits to JSC Viorica Cosmetic to take cognizance of the process of innovation and branding, and over the television channel TV7 in order to gather evidence to the process of creation and exploitation of films and phonograms.
(Press Service of AGEPI)