Spain has become "a true paradise for digital piracy" with 8.8 million of the country's 44 million population downloading music and movies illegally, a new report revealed Monday.

The report, based on more than 2,000 interviews with Spaniards aged over 16 between April 7 and 21, shows that 11.5 million Spaniards illegally download music and films from P2P networks, or buy physical pirated CDs or DVDs. The same number of Spaniards buy the same products legally, says the report.

The report also notes that 81% of Spanish Internet users aged under 24 illegally disseminate music and film.

The GfK Emer report was commissioned by the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, a new group which also made its official presentation on Monday to launch a project, entitled "A week for everybody's rights in Internet, and against digital piracy".

The program includes an international seminar on Thursday featuring John Kennedy, president of the IFPI, and Dennis Olivennes, editor of El Nouvel Observateur who was commissioned by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to advise on the French government's policy against illegal P2P file-sharing.

The seminar will focus on the future of cultural industries and the fight against Internet piracy, and will also include contributions from the Coalition's constituent members -- labels' body and IFPI affiliate Promusicae, authors' and publishers' society SGAE, audiovisual rights body Egeda, Spanish intellectual property defence federation FAP, and cinema and video distributor groups Adican and Adivan.

On the piracy report, Jose Manuel Tourné, FAP president, says "this is a really serious problem. The sick man of Spain as one of the worst piracy offenders, is still very ill. There's no other country in Europe with the same passivity towards piracy, which is nothing less than robbery, as Spain has."

He says Spain's music industry has halved in value since 2001 when it was worth more than €600 million ($930 million), "and piracy carries much of the blame".

Tourné says Spain "is behind other countries" in its anti-piracy legislation, and in the application by prosecutors and judges of current legislation. "Therefore, the Coalition has been formed to press the government to join the fight against this mass robbery by applying adequate legislation.

"There has not been one single successful prosecution against Internet piracy in Spain," he adds. "It is not entirely clear why not, but there is no unified doctrine on the question of piracy."

Tourné says the Coalition has meetings planned with the culture and industry ministries, and industry minister Miguel Sebastián - whose department oversees the question of intellectual property rights - is scheduled to attend the seminar with Kennedy and Olivennes.

Asked if the Coalition wants Spain to follow with the 'three warnings' rule proposed by France and the UK against illegal P2P file sharers, Tourné says "this is one solution, but it is not the only one".

The other Coalition priority, Tourné says, is to hold talks with ISPs such as Spain's telecom multi-national Telefonica.

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