Italy’s cinema industry loses an estimated $699m (Euros 530m) to piracy annually, according to the first in-depth study of the impact of piracy in Italy. The findings were announced by Italy’s Anti Audiovisual Piracy Federation.

Other sobering statistics show that illegal copies of films sold in Italy are raking in the bucks: sales from pirated films were approximately $438m (Euros 332m) in 2008. The survey also estimated the number of jobs at risk due to piracy here at 250,000.

Fapav’s research (conducted by Ipsos marketing research firm) divides Italy’s piracy consumption into three groups:

  • Physical piracy such as bootleg DVDs (17% of Italian piracy over last year). 
  • Online/digital piracy such as download (21%)
  • Indirect piracy such as gifts/viewing of pirated films (24%)

Furthermore, the figures (that were taken from a test group of 2038 individuals ages 15 and up) revealed that 32% of Italians – about 16m in all - have used illegal copies of films over the past twelve months.

The study also found that more than 60% of those asked were aware that piracy is a crime.

Fapav, founded in 1988, is presided over by Filippo Roviglioni. The co-founders of FAPAV include Anica (Italian motion picture organisation), Univideo, MPA (Motion Picture Association) and Agis (Italian general entertainment organization that includes, film, dance, theatre and music). Several prominent Italian companies are members.

At the meeting to reveal the study results, leading directors like Giuseppe Tornatore, Paolo Virzi, Enrico Vanzina, Carlo Verdone, Sergio Castellito and Leonardo Pieraccioni were on hand to lend support to the anti-piracy cause.