Spanish Online Piracy Rate Nears 96%

Almost 96% of all recorded music acquired online in Spain is pirated, according to a new report from the Spanish division of U.S. consultant IDC Research.

The report, published June 1, covers the second half of 2009 and was commissioned by the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, which includes the IFPI affiliated labels body Promusicae and collecting society SGAE.

The survey, compiled by canvassing 5,911 Spanish internet users aged 16-55, covers the distribution of music, film, video games and books online and reports that 95.6% of music acquired digitally in Spain is pirated.

Figures for film and video games stand at 83.7% and 52.3%, respectively.

Overall, the report says 76% of all cultural digital content was pirated in the last six months of 2009, amounting to an estimated 5.1 billion euros ($6.3 billion) loss to the country's culture industry.

"The real figures are even worse," says Coalition president Aldo Olcese, referring to the fact that under-16-year-olds, probably the most avid free downloaders, were not included in the survey.

In money terms, IDC Research Iberia says music piracy meant a loss of income totaling 2.29 billion ($2.8 billion), while the sum for film income lost was even higher at 2.38 billion ($2.9 billion).

As previously reported, the government plans to introduce anti-piracy legislation this year as part of a wider anti-economic crisis law called the Sustainable Economy Law.

The initial deadline for amendments to be proposed, which could have allowed the law to be passed in June, was set for last week but passed without action. No progress is now expected until after Spain's long summer break.

According to an angry Olcese, "this means another three months in which we shall lose 1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) every 30 days, as we do at present."

IDC will continue to produce six-monthly reports on the culture industry and the effects of digital piracy with a report covering the first half of 2010 due to be published in October.

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