Piracy ravages Spain

Reps 84% of online movie consumption

Spaniards pirated online contents worth an estimated E5.1 billion ($6.3 billion) in the second half of 2009, according to a new study.

The study, carried out by IDC Research Iberia, the Spanish arm of U.S. consultancy IDC, covered the piracy of music, movies, vidgames and books.

It was commissioned by Spain’s Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, an umbrella lobby for most of the country’s film and TV trade associations.

Polling 5,911 Spaniards, the report found that piracy accounted for 83.7% of all online movie consumption and 95.6% of that for music.

IDC reported that 58.4% of Spanish users would pay for music and 54.8% for movies.

The report appears to have achieved its media goal, with local newspaper headlines proclaiming Tuesday that piracy loses the Spanish digital content industries more than $12 billion a year.

Coalition prexy Aldo Olcese announced that at a time when the Spanish government is desperately trying to balance its budget, piracy lost the state an estimated $1.7 billion in taxes last year.

According to the U.S. Congressional Intl. Anti-Piracy Caucus, unauthorized Spanish peer-to-peer downloads — 1.2 million in December — made Spain the world’s second-biggest P2P infringer by volume and per capita.

Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, Spain’s Minister of Culture, has complained about a lack of legal online options in Spain.

“There is unquestionably an issue about legal availability in Spain. Fundamental to this is availability on devices, if you want to get people to pay. Until late last year that was really lacking,” said Dan Cryan at Screen Digest.

In what Cryan describes as a “step forward,” Sony launched its PlayStation Movie Store in Spain late 2009.

But, having bowed its iTunes Store, offering studio movies, in France on April 30, Apple has not announced any launch dates for iTunes Stores in Spain.

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