A report filed by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, of which the ESA is a member, discusses the economic scourge of online piracy. ESA CEO Michael Gallagher calls online piracy the "greatest threat to the innovation, artistic commitment and technological advancements enjoyed by millions of consumers worldwide." It calls out BitTorrent and eDonkey as the two leading P2P networks for illegal downloads.

The ESA highlighted one part of the report, which involved tracking the illegal downloads of 13 titles during December 2008. Users downloaded 6.4 million copies of these games, the two most popular titles being downloaded 4.7 million times. The "heaviest illegal downloading" occurred in Italy (17%), Spain (15.1%), France (7.9%), Germany (6.9%), and Poland (6.1%). The heaviest per capita of illegal downloads occurred in Israel, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Poland.

The full report, which covers piracy beyond games, can be viewed on the IIPA site. Don't be surprised if piracy gets a little more attention now. With industry layoffs not going out of fashion anytime soon, somebody has to take the blame.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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