Opinions of the Finnish General Public on the Copyright System

Summary in English

Cupore conducted a research project on public perceptions on the operation of the copyright system in 2019–2020. The focus of the study was on the use of content in the digital environment. In the digital sphere, the general public has increasingly taken different roles not just as end-users, but also as intermediaries and creators of works.

The research themes included the general public’s copyright awareness, the authorized and unauthorized use of digital content, the use of existing works for follow-on creation, and the opinions on the copyright system.

The target population consisted of 15–79 year-old Finns excluding the Åland Islands. The research data was collected through 1005 face-to-face interviews conducted as part of nationwide omnibus survey carried out by Taloustutkimus.

Selected results

Nearly a third of all Finns consider that they have at some point either used unauthorized content available on the internet or copied or downloaded copyrighted content online without authorization. In the last year, 13% of Finns have used unauthorized content online. The lack of lawfully available products and services and quick and easy access to unauthorized content are the most frequently reported reasons for unauthorized use. A clear majority of those who have used unauthorized content reported that better access to legal offer had reduced their own use of unauthorized content during the past years.

One Finn in ten has created derivative works based on existing works and shared them on the internet. There is legal uncertainty related to content use in the digital environment. Still, half of the Finnish population considers their copyright knowledge to be either good or relatively good.

In spite of some criticisms, a clear majority of the Finns consider the copyright system legitimate. Finns also clearly think that copyright infringement should be sanctioned. On the other hand, half of the population feels at least to some extent that copyright should only apply when content is used for profit.

An English summary is presented on p. 9–12 of the publication.

Tiina Kautio, Katja Oksanen-Särelä & Ari Kurlin Niiniaho 2020. Suomalaisten näkemykset tekijänoikeusjärjestelmästä. Cupore webpublications 61. 
ISBN: 978-952-7200-51-3; ISSN: 1796-9263 

NB! We have also published a fact booklet on main findings. Read the fact booklet here.

Since 2018 Cupore has been assessing the operation of the Finnish copyright system on the basis of annually changing themes. The study at hand is a part of this continuous assessment work, which is based on a methodological framework developed at Cupore.


Project researchers