More than 97% of all music obtained via the Internet in Spain during the first six months of 2010 was downloaded illegally, according to a study by IDC Research.

The confirmation of Spain's continuing piracy problem was confirmed by Internet cultural piracy was made in the presentation of the latest cultural piracy figures by the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries (CCIC) on Nov. 3 in Madrid. The survey was carried out by IDC's Iberian division covering Spain and Portugal.

In January 2009 the IFPI said that globally 95% of music downloads were illegal, although anti-piracy measures have since been launched in some territories.

CCIC president Aldo Olcese said "Spanish piracy figures continue to be alarming," but he said they may be far worse: IDC by law restricted its survey of more than 6,000 people to those aged 16-55. "If we had included under-16s, the situation would be really disastrous," Olcese said.

The survey also showed that 77.1% of movies are downloaded illegally, compared to 60.7% of video games and 35.1% of books. "The figure for books is very negative, as it is double the 19.7% registered in the second half of 2009. Book piracy is in free fall," said Olcese.

The CCIC said the value of pirated cultural content accessed via the Internet in Spain in the first half of this year was €5.2 billion ($7.3 billion), against the legal online cultural business of €1.56 billion ($2.2 billion), which is actually an increase of 2.6% compared to the first half of 2009.

The value of pirated music was €2.66 billion ($3.73 billion), said the CCIC, compared to the legal music online market of just €76.9 million ($107.9 million) in the first six months of the year, says IDC's report.

Olcese said there was some good news. "The survey shows that 64% of music consumers would pay for the content if there was a good legal offer," he said. "There are two reasons - the sense that anti-piracy legislation is imminent, and the gradual increase in the available legal content offer."

But he added that "the incentive to provide more legal music online at the moment does not exist. We need legislation first, then a pact between all involved parties, and only then will the legal market improve radically."

The "imminent" legislation following a decade of uncontrolled and spiraling piracy (physical then digital) is part of the Sustainable Economy Law (LES), which culture minister Angeles González-Sinde says will be applicable by March or April next year.

The legislation will be directed at websites that offer links to protected cultural content, and not at individual users. "We do not plan any 'three-strike' legislation in Spain at the moment, but the fact is if this new legislation does not work, we would have to look at other solutions," said Olcese.

The CCIC president said that once the LES was in force, the Coalition would propose a pact of cooperation on protecting copyright with content producers, Internet service providers, and Internet search engines such as Google.