In 2014, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) - the EU’s intellectual property agency acting through the European Observatory on infringement of intellectual property rights - carried out a study about how EU citizens perceive intellectual property.
The results showed that eight out of ten 15-24 year olds in the EU believe that buying counterfeit products has a negative economic effect, and two thirds agree that illegal downloading is a threat to the economy and jobs. However, 50% still justify buying counterfeits as an act of protest or a smart purchase and 57% think illegally accessing copyright-protected content for personal use is acceptable.
To confront this reality and on behalf of OHIM, P.A.U. Education launched the “Ideas Powered” initiative this year, as the first EU-wide interactive website and social media channels dedicated to young people and intellectual property (IP).
The aim of “Ideas Powered” includes raising awareness among youngsters by showing them how important it is to protect individual and business ideas for innovation and creativity to flourish, maintaining jobs and creating new ones, as well as offering young people the possibility to get involved and contribute.
The site brings together contributions from young designers, composers, entrepreneurs and artists from all across the EU to show how IP underpins and supports innovation and creativity.
More specifically, the website focuses on three areas:
- A VIP section presenting a collection of stories and testimonies about intellectual property from 28 VIPs (1 for each of the 28 EU Member States). This VIP section aims at showing youngsters that the topic concerns everybody, including their favourite actor, writer, singer, etc.
- A blog section which offers anecdotes, point of views and feelings about intellectual property. This part of the website is open to everyone who is willing to share his or her ideas and concerns about the topic. Youngsters can find blog posts in various sectors such as music and song writing, photography, legal aid, fashion and product design or entrepreneurship, for instance.
- A video competition which invites young people to submit a short video showcasing their originality and talent. Participants get recognition and exposure of the originality and creativity of the “products” of their mind, and winners are offered a city trip for two to the European destination of their choice.
This way, Ideas Powered demonstrates that respect for intellectual property concerns everyone, and everyone can have a stake in it.
P.A.U. Education has gained extensive experience in actively engaging young people through previous youth campaigns at international level, such as Youth on the Move, Your Ideas Your Initiatives, and We Mean Business.