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9 out of 10 downloads in Spain are illegal

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9 out of 10 downloads in Spain are illegal
Photo of a woman on the computer: Shutterstock
16:46 CET+01:00
A new study has revealed that in Spain almost 88 percent of all online cultural content is pirated, making the country one of the worst in Europe for internet piracy.

Netflix might have pause for thought before launching a paid streaming service in Spain; the nation is one of the worst for consuming pirated content, including films, music and television series’.

A study on digital consumption habits in 2014 has revealed that the problem is only getting worse; 84 percent of Spaniards accessed illegal content online in 2013 while that figure rose to 87.94 percent in 2014.

The study was carried out by the consultancy GfK and presented by the Coalition of Creators (Coalición de Creadores), who announced the results were a new “piracy record”.

"The level of piracy in Spain is overwhelming. Therefore we are asking that illegal pages are blocked like they are in France, Italy and Germany… countries which see cultural consumption as a means of economic growth," Carlota Navarrete, director of the Coalition of Creators, told Spanish daily El País.

The report shows that cinema remains the worst hit industry; films make up 38 percent of all illegal downloads.

Series make up 26 percent of all illegal content, followed by music at 24 percent. Music is the only industry in which illegal downloads have dropped since 2013.

Illegal downloading could be worth up to €23.3 billion ($25 billion) a year to the industries involved, according to the report.

The report also asked people why they illegally downloaded. The most common response was "I don’t pay for content if I can access it for free" (61 percent) followed by "I pay for my internet connection".

The report also gives suggestions on how the problem might be tackled. Closing down illegal websites and awareness campaigns are the ideas internet users think would work the best.  

Campaigners are hoping the new Intellectual Property Law (LPI), which came into effect in January 2015, will help dissuade people from illegally downloading.

Piracy websites face fines of up to €600,000, but critics say the new law just is not working.

"We are hoping that it will start to be applied with vigor," Navarrete said, "(but at the moment) it is not working," she added.

Almost 100 percent of illegal downloaders access the content via Google, the report showed, highlighting that search engines have a part to play in stemming the rise of illegal downloads in Spain. 

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