Piracy cost Spanish economy more than €2 billion and 20,000 jobs in 2020

Digital piracy in Spain has experienced a decline, but it is still costing rights holders billions in lost revenue, claims a new report.

According to a new report from GfK, there was a 7% drop in access to illegal content in the country in 2020. However, a total of 5.239 billion pieces of illegal content were still accessed during the year. This translates to a cost of €2.416 billion to the Spanish economy.

Of the €2.416 billion euros of damage reported, music suffered estimated losses of €482 million, magazines €426 million, newspapers €345 million, movies €322 million, books €240 million, football €231 million, video games €205 million, TV series €138 million and sheet music €28 million.

The survey of 3,000 consumers found that four in ten claimed not to know how to distinguish between legal and illegal platforms while 54% argued that they pirate content because they already pay for an internet connection or pay TV.

The most common platforms for accessing illegal content were Facebook (55%), YouTube (39%), WhatsApp (34%), Instagram (28%) Telegram (25%) or Twitter (24%). Some 28% of respondents said that they utilised an IPTV decoder while 40% have made use of tutorials on how to access pirate content.

While many consumers believe that content piracy is a victimless crime, the report claims that more than 20,000 new direct jobs could be created in a Spain without piracy. In addition, the Spanish economy did not receive almost €424 million in VAT and more than €59 million in personal income tax as a result of piracy.

Emilio Fernández del Castillo, director of LaLiga Content Protection, said: “We have the equipment, the technology and the knowledge to deal with the scourge that is audiovisual piracy, behind which there are organisations that profit from the work of legitimate creators, but to win this game there is a lack of a legal tool that allows content to be blocked in a fast and agile way.”

Carlota Navarrete, general director of La Coalición, added: “We cultural creators and industries demand a new effort to consolidate the advances that have been taking place in recent years. On the one hand, we need to swiftly apply the recently approved European regulations in a way that adequately protects copyright and further, we need to strengthen the structures and provide greater resources for the defense and promotion of content, as the basis of a strategic sector for employment, the economy and international competitiveness of our country.”

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