The consumption of counterfeit goods: 'Here be pirates?'

  • Rutter J
  • Bryce J
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Abstract

Social science, policy and popular discourse around counterfeiting regularly position consumers of counterfeit goods as part of a technological elite or as motivated by anti-capitalist or anti-corporate positions. In order to explore this construction and highlight its associated limitations, this article presents quantitative data collected through postal and web-based questionnaires looking at the frequency, location and motivations for the purchase of counterfeit leisure items for consumers in the United Kingdom.The article suggests that the purchase and consumption of counterfeit goods is commonplace across a broader variety of age, gender and socio-economic status categories than often assumed.The study also highlights the value of viewing the consumption of counterfeit goods as social and situated, occurring within existing social networks and familiar locations, and as closely related to other consumption practices.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Consumers
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Intellectual property
  • Leisure goods
  • Software piracy

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