Over 77% of Digital Content Consumed in Spain is Pirated

Study estimates illegal downloads cost content industries more than $7 billion in first half of the year.

MADRID -- Over 77% of the digital content consumed in Spain in the first half of 2011 was pirated, marking a .4% climb from the same period to previous year, according to a study released Tuesday by the Coalition of Creators and Industries of Content.

The study, conducted by the Observatory of Piracy and Consumption Habits of Digital Content, estimated the consumption of pirated content cost the music, film, publishing and videogame sectors more than 5.2 billion euros ($7.2 billion) in the first half of 2011--a .3% rise from the same period last year.

The worst affected was the music sector, with only two out of every 100 songs downloaded done so through legal channels. More than 98% of all digital musical content was downloaded illegally, costing the music industry some 2.7 billion euros ($3.7 billion).

The film sector lost an estimated 1.4 billion euros to illegal downloads, with 74% of digital content obtained from providers other than the legal rights owner.

The Spanish Coalition-- which groups the majority of content associations in Spain including music producers (PROMUSICAE), audiovisual rights holders (EGEDA), vidographics (ADIVAN), software(ADESE) and protection for intellectual property (FAP)-- urged the government to approve pending legislation already presented to congress that is designed to protect intellectual property rights and facilitate related complaints.

Legal offers of digital content like PixBox, MediaXpress or Yo-decido have been forced to close because of the vast illegal offer of digital content available in Spain, along with the general climate of public acceptance of piracy.

"With these figures it's extremely complex to develop any kind of legal offer on Internet," said Coalition director Jose Manuel Tourne. "Internet should mean a great opportunity to develop the digital content market, generating profit and employment as it is occurring in surrounding countries."