Online Gaming’s Growing Piracy Problem

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With online gaming rapidly growing, the problem of piracy seems to be increasing as well. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which represents the U.S.-based Entertainment Software Association (ESA) among others, says that 33 countries are not adequately protecting against IP violations and proposed that these countries be placed on the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) “list of countries that fail to adequately or effectively protect intellectual property rights or provide creators with adequate market access,” according to the press release.

“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 Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers, said. “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.”

Italy, China, Spain, Brazil and France account for 54 percent of peer-to-peer illegal game file sharing or 78 million different cases found during the duration of the study according to the “301 Report” filed with the U.S. government. In the U.S. alone, gaming is a $24 billion industry, with $5.1 billion directly from software downloads and online subscription fees. The detections in those five countries alone is 14 times higher than the amount of illegally shared gaming material discovered during the same time period in the U.S.

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