Why did Spain rank No. 1 for illegal music downloads?
by Kimberly on Monday, January 24, 2011
According to new report about the world's recording industry, Spain is the country with the greatest percentage of users who use internet sites to download and distribute music illegally. A staggering 45% of Spain's internet users are reported to engage in internet piracy, placing Spain above Brazil (44%) and the European average (23%). The report featured Spain in a special chapter regarding its anual study of piracy of digital music.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry report (IFPI), Spanish music sales have plummeted by 21% over the past year. This trend affects new artists much more than established names in the industry.
Frances Moore of the IFPI has expressed disapproval of Spain's government hesitance to employ anti-piracy measures, stating that they have had "great difficulties getting the Spanish government to support our proposals.
Ángeles González-Sinde, the Spanish minister of culture, has tried to gain support to set up a government commission able to close down websites that have been infringing on copyrighting laws. He has only found support in the Spanish socialist partyk. Amendments to his original proposal will be considered this week in order to gain more support.
What do the Spaniards think about all this? Well, if you talk to them most will adamantly explain that the price of CDs and DVDs is ridiculous and has been increasing steadily over the years. If you look at a typical Spanish salary, you may understand why they might prefer clicking a button to paying the stiff 25€ price tag of a new CD. Sure, they would prefer the original, but they cannot afford it!
According to a study based on 2006 figures by Adecco and IESE, the average salary in Spain is 34% than the rest of the EU. The report showed that the average gross salary in the EU was 32,414€ while in Spain it was only 21,402€. However, these averages are a far cry from the salaries you will find in most small towns and villages in Spain. Additionally, from 2002 through 2006, the average EU salary increased by 3.9% while the the Spanish only saw increases of 1.3%.
What about the cost of music? After reading some online comparisons, in respect to some other nearby European countries the price of a CD is almost the same. However, if you factor in the aquisition power based on average salary of a Spanish citizen, it becomes much more expensive, nearly double! The cheapest European country for buying CDs based on cost and aquisition power is England.
Also, some Spaniards claim that part of their taxes go to paying for things like illegal downloads. So why pay more when you can get it for free and you are already paying taxes on this "service"?
Is the problem really the illegal downloading?
Is the problem the ridiculously high cost of the music in Spain?
All I can say is that most people claim they would love to buy the CD, if only it were cheaper...
Keywords: Spain,piracy,music downloads,illegal