Spain's cultural industry has accepted that the proposed disconnection of Internet users who ignore warnings not to download illegally is no longer an option. The about-turn by the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries follows indications that the government will refuse to implement any kind of "three-strikes" scheme.

But the Coalition, which includes sections of the music, film and software sectors including 88-member labels body Promusicae, as well as collecting societies such as the 95,000-member authors and publishers society SGAE, still thinks a reduction in Internet access speed is feasible against offenders.

In his first public appearance as Coalition president, Aldo Olcese acknowledged that users are "our current and future clientele," and that punitive measures were out of the question. "We have no desire to criminalize Internet users who download illegally," he said.

Olcese was speaking just three days after Spanish Internet Service Provider (ISP) association Redtel announced that it would refuse to hold more talks with the Coalition, until the government comes up with a solution to piracy in Spain.

The Coalition will now concentrate its anti-piracy message against the activity of P2P BitTorrent tracker services. Olcese claimed that there were now 200 such Web sites in Spain, compared to just 70 a few months ago.

The P2P problem in Spain is so bad that "it is no exaggeration to say that Spain has become a paradise for global piracy," he said.

Olcese added that the Coalition was still compiling information on the sites' activities, but promised that "within a short space of time" the Coalition would present the names of the 200 sites.

Olcese also said he was confident the government would move forward on its anti-piracy measures. "I am convinced the government will do something and soon," he said.

"I speak with [people from] the government every day, and I tell them their problem is getting worse every week," he added. "But just as President Obama recently announced steps to deal with piracy after consultations with [culture industry] experts, I have absolutely no doubt that this government will soon take steps after being convinced by experts [from the Coalition]."

Olcese added that the Coalition was willing to support the launch of a Web site of "wide-ranging and abundant" legal cultural content "at competitive prices" for users who wanted to obtain material legally. He said "this Web site would begin operating the moment the government announces definitive steps to tackle piracy."