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Italy Sounds Alarm on E-Book Piracy

by | Mar 12, 2024 | News

The clarion call against ebook piracy resounds in Italy as publishers raise urgent alarms about its pervasive threat to the entire book industry. A recent Ipsos study, commissioned by the Association of Italian Publishers (AIE), delves into the depths of this menace. Shockingly, the study reveals that piracy extracts a staggering 28 percent toll from the industry’s total valuation, marking a clear and present danger.

 

This marks Ipsos’ third investigation for AIE, and the results are particularly disconcerting. Beyond the financial implications, piracy manifests as a catalyst for substantial job losses, with approximately 4,900 positions eliminated. The survey underscores the wide-reaching nature of piracy in Italy, where 31 percent of the general population above the age of 15 admit to illegally accessing books, ebooks, and audiobooks. Alarming rates are observed among students (78 percent) and professionals (49 percent).

 

Compounding the issue is the perceived lack of consequences among pirates. A staggering 70 percent of those confessing to illegal access express little concern about repercussions. Despite a marginal decrease in daily piracy incidents from 2021, with nearly 300,000 reported daily, the economic toll remains significant. Italy’s economy suffers a €1.75 billion (US$1.9 billion) loss, coupled with a €298 million (US$326 million) shortfall in tax revenue.

 

Annually, the scale of piracy reaches alarming heights, with an estimated 108.4 million acts in Italy alone. Despite awareness campaigns, public acknowledgment of piracy’s illegality dropped from 84 percent in 2019 to 79 percent in 2023, underscoring a worrisome trend. As arguments about increasing consumer media savvy arise, it is evident that concerted efforts are imperative to combat book piracy’s pervasive impact on the industry, economy, and society at large.

 

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