Spanish execs urge ISPs to fight piracy

Join roundtable at Madrid de Cine screenings

MADRID -- Spain's film industry execs at the Madrid de Cine Spanish film screenings on Monday called on the government to take the lead in fighting piracy by forcing Internet service providers to protect rights-holders' content.

"The state is the real culprit for what is happening," Alta Films president Enrique Gonzalez Macho said at a roundtable on piracy in Spain, the worldwide leader in illegal Internet downloads.

Spain clocked 18%-25% of all illegal downloads in 2007 and 2.5 million illegal street vendor sales, worth an estimated €800 million, according to the Federation for the Protection of Intellectual Property.

"The future is that the government either pushes the ISPs to talk or imposes regulations," said Halli Kristinsson, the MPA's vp and regional director for Europe.

Kristinsson said that ISPs can apply "content recognition technology" that would identify a movie or song file without invading privacy, inform the user of the crime and redirect them to a legal method of downloading the file.

"There is a way to try to build business out of piracy for the content owner," Kristinsson said.