Spanish authors and publishers society Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) collected €300.76 million ($391 million) for use of its members' copyrights in 2004, an increase of 11.9% ove


MADRID -- Spanish authors and publishers society Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) collected €300.76 million ($391 million) for use of its members' copyrights in 2004, an increase of 11.9% over 2003.

The society distributed €295.2 million ($383.8 million) to its members, an increase of 7.2%.

SGAE executive president Teddy Bautista describes the report as "bittersweet," noting that piracy is still "encrusted" in the Spanish music industry.

On the positive side, he says, public-awareness campaigns reduced street-vending CD piracy to 15.8% of total sales in 2004, vs. 30% in 2002. However, online piracy is on the rise. "The 180 million illegal music downloads of 2003 increased to 270 million last year," Bautista says.

According to SGAE's report, Spanish music accounted for 52% of all recordings sold during the year. The top-selling albums in Spain were David Bisbal's "Buleria" (Vale Music) and Estopa's "La Calle Es Tuya?" (Sony BMG).

Live music enjoyed a good year, with SGAE collecting €17.1 million ($22.2 million) in authors' rights from the sector, an increase of 19% over 2003.