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France, Spain among worst for game piracy

5 countries make up 54% of world total.

54 per cent of all illegal game file sharing takes place in France, Spain, Italy, China and Brazil, according to new research.

A report filed by US trade group the Entertainment Software Association and reported by Gamasutra asks for 33 countries to be put on a watchlist of nations not taking adequate measures to combat copyright infringement.

The ESA claimed that game piracy in the aforementioned countries had reached "extraordinarily high" levels, accounting for 78 million of 144 million unauthorised peer-to-peer connections logged worldwide.

That's more than five times the amount attributed to users in the USA, according to the study.

"Our industry continues to grow in the US, 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," commented ESA president Michael Gallagher.

Spain was singled out for special attention in the report, with the ESA asking for it to join China and Canada on a "Priority Watch List". It claimed "lax policies" in the country "have fostered a culture permissive of piracy".

It was recommended that Brazil and Italy should remain on a lesser "Watch List" as there were signs that both nations were attempting to address the issue.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.