Video game industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association claims that 54 percent of all illegal fileshares come from five nations on the International Intellectual Property Alliance's "watch list." These countries include Italy, Spain, China, Brazil and France. The group cites the "Special 301" report put together by IIPA. The ESA is a member of the group.
"Our industry continues to grow in the U.S., but epidemic levels of online piracy stunt sales and growth in a number of countries, including Italy, China, Spain, Brazil and France, where we see crushing volumes of infringing peer-to-peer activity involving leading game titles," said ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher.
The IIPA recommends that the U.S. Trade Representative add 33 countries on a watch list of nations that have yet to take real measures to deal with copyright infringement and do not provide a pipeline for creators to bring their works to market legally. Along with the rest of the IIPA's membership, the ESA is asking that the USTR put Spain on a "Priority Watch List." The group claims that lax policies in Spain have created a culture where piracy is acceptable. The USTR created the Priority Watch List in May of 2010. The first list contained 11 countries including Canada and China. There is a secondary List for countries whose infringement activity is slightly less troublesome.
The ESA claims that its members reported more than 144 million connections involved in peer-to-peer game file sharing. The top five countries accounted for 78 million of these. The ESA says that this activity is five times the number attributed to U.S. users.
"Game publishers lose opportunities for export sales, and the U.S. loses opportunities to expand our export economy, and consumers in those countries lose local benefits of having a thriving game market," Gallagher says.