Spain is ramping up its efforts to combat piracy with the launch next year of a new film download site that will offer major US titles and local films.
The Coalition of Creators and Content Industries is leading the initiative, which has yet to be named, with €3m of backing from the Spanish government for its first two years.
The site aims to be a “one-stop shop” for films and the Coalition has already struck deals with online music and film store Pixbox, owned by telecoms giant Telefonica. It offers films from Universal and Warner Brothers. EGEDA, the producer’s rights association, which is part of the Coalition, will also allow access to its website Filmotech.com, which offers more than 5,000 titles. The Coalition is currently trying to strike up further deals.
The Spanish government will provide a majority of the funding, which will cover costs and staff, in the launch phase but it is hoped that the site will generate enough money to become self-sufficient after the first two years.
Joan Navarro, director of the Coalition, said: “The first and most important reason for the site is to keep legitimate online film sites in business; and the second reason is to fight against the pirate sites.”
Spain is considered one of the worst offenders for piracy as peer-to-peer downloading is not considered illegal, unless the person sharing the material is making money from it. The high level of illegal downloading has been attributed to home entertainment chain Blockbuster’s decision to pull out of the country. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) has called for the country to review this situation and, in October, the Spanish government launched a new film commission that will focus on protecting rights owners. Angeles Gonzales Sinde, the country’s Culture Minister, has also said she will consider making it illegal to share digital content.
The site has won the backing of Redtel, the internet service providers association, which has declined to co-operate with the Coalition on piracy until an adequate legal download site was launched.