The Spanish government appears at last ready to act against unauthorized P2P file-sharing - although there is no big hurry.

In a brief note, the Council of Ministers said it had agreed to set up an inter-ministerial working commission "to advise on the fight against the violation of intellectual property rights through Internet pages, with the aim of dedicating as a priority the study of said violations."

The note adds that the study will be focussed on analyzing existing legislation, as well as activities that will "improve legal action in the civil and penal areas."

The Commission's conclusions must be presented before Dec. 31, a day before Spain assumes the six-month presidency of the European Union. During that time, telecommunications ministers or secretaries of state from 27 European countries will meet in Madrid in May, when digital downloading and P2P file-sharing are expected to be among subjects discussed.

The government news coincides with the Oct. 14 release of the 2nd Digital Content Report by the Multi-Sector Association of Information Technology, Communication and Electronic Companies (Asimelec).

"The legal insecurity with regards to intellectual property protection is a basic factor that could delay, or even prevent, the takeoff of this [digital] industry", says Asimelec president Martín Pérez.

The report shows that €2.5 billion ($3.7 billion) was spent on "sectors with business models linked to the online distribution of the most developed digital contents." The Spanish "media and entertainment business" grew 12.1% in 2008 to €27.2 billion ($40.7 billion), says Asimelec, making it Europe's fifth biggest market behind the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

Asimelec's 2008 figures show that an 8.1% growth in digital music distribution did not compensate for a 12.4% drop in turnover of physical sales. The report covers music, video, videogames, television, social networks, advertising, the press and books.

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