The Spanish government is ramping up its efforts to combat piracy with the launch of a new film commision that will focus on protecting intellectual property rights.
The commission, which will launch by the end of year, will draw members from the judicial system, the Ministry of Culture and the wider film industry.
One of its priorities will be to repair the fractious relations between Spain’s internet service providers (ISPs) and rights owners, who have been unable to reach a compromise on how to solve the problem of illegal P2P file sharing in Spain.
Spain is one of the world’s biggest piracy offenders with an estimated 350 million illegal film downloads in 2008, costing the Spanish industry around $1bn (€668m) in lost revenue.
Earlier this year, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) called on the Spanish government to develop an “effective action plan” to reduce the availability of unauthorised content online and for monitoring the ISPs.
So far, just one prosecution has been made against a Spanish site administrator, who was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $6,500 (€4,344) for profiting from copyright infringement on his site infopsp.com.
Angeles Gonzales Sinde, the Spanish Culture Minister, recently revealed that she is prepared to make it illegal to share digital content - outlawing all peer-to-peer sites.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez Sinde has also been closely involved in the country’s new $125m (€83.5) film fund, which has now been passed to the European Commission for approval.
After a consultation with the film industry, the fund will favour scriptwriters, which 15 scripts selected every year to receive up to $60,000 (€40,000). It will also give preference to projects that have women in key roles (directors, scriptwriters etc).
The points system that will decide the distribution of funds has also been clarified. Projects will receive €10,000 for every point received. Producers can access between one and five points – up to a maximum of 15 points - for each major festival award received; four points if the film is made and shown in 3D; two points if it is an international co-production; and a further two points if there is an equal balance of men and women in the production team.