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Spain's piracy epidemic has studios considering no longer selling DVDs there

As if problems in the U.S. home entertainment market weren't bad enough, with declining sales revenue and continued pressure from low-cost rental services Redbox and Netflix, the major movie studios are close to being overwhelmed by piracy in a second major foreign market.

The illicit downloading and streaming of movies in Spain has become so severe, executives say, that it may soon no longer make sense to try to sell DVDs in the country. It would be the second nation where piracy has overwhelmed efforts to legitimately sell DVDs, after South Korea.

"Spain is on the brink of no longer being a viable home-entertainment market for us," said Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Home-entertainment revenue in Spain has plummeted nearly 30% in the last five years, while the number of  DVD and video stores has fallen from 12,000 in 2003 to just 3,000.

See Tuesday's L.A. Times for much more on why Spain has become a hotbed of piracy and what it means for the entertainment industry.

-- Ben Fritz

Comments () | Archives (34)

As article sais this is 'second major foreign market', so if you want to stop selling DVD's here just do it, go home. People will continue downloading and watching movies on internet and even buying original ones on internet but you will loose the money of those who often spend some money buying original stuff.

What we won't do is surrender and let out Government and lobbies play with our freedom of expression and other essencial rights. This is not about downloading movies or music, is about controlling Internet, and that's not gonna happen, ever.

If they feel like doing it just go home. Some people will continue watching movies in streaming and downloading movies, and some other will buy them by internet or small shops as we are doing now, so the unique ones who will loose something will be them. As you say this is the second major foreign market.

Here, in Spain, our fight is not about downloading music and movies, we are fighting our Government and our lobbies trying to attack our freedom of expression. We cant let entertainment industry to close webpages without the intervention of a judge just for doing the same that Google does or embed a video of YouTube. This is about our fredoms and a serious newspaper as Los Angeles Time should know.

I think will be an action without effects or consecuences.
Just remember that...practically almost all south american continent speak spanish (whenever their accent or some words sounds strange to us) so will be allways possible to download material in spanish language even if it is not produced in european spanish language but will be perfectly understood. And i dont think they will lose one market even if the sales are 30% less than before.
Also the economic situation is at that level that i think nobody will care if they continue selling dvds here or not...i go all the days to the department stores and i see tons of dvds on sale with ridiculous expensive prices...and nobody buying them...you will spend 25 euros in a new movie when your salary is about 700 per month? The future was the online movie market (pay and download) with cheaper prices and less material cost like in the music...but now is too late, people is already used to get all this for free, too late boys!

Wow. That's awesome! Now Spaniards won't have a choice except to be pirates!

Yarrr, that be good thinking thar'!

I will boycott all Spanish Products - Oh wait, they are a Welfare State that produces nothing....

Sorry Joe but Spain doesn't make tecnological products like TVs or PCs, but Spain produces a lot of other quality products like: wine, Jam, olive oil, clothes, etc.

But something is true, spain is a Welfare State, in which we live veeeeeeeeery good, sun, beach, party, nap, beautiful girls... mmm... I love Spain....

This is just FUD.

why are you doing this, LATimes?

Good! If this ever becomes true -which I doubt-, this way internal production will raise, and we will even have production in Catalan! Good, go, majors, go!

There is something that is not mentioned in that article. There is a sharp increase in the import and purchase DVD via the Internet and web stores in Spain, especially from countries like U.K and France, where the films can be up to half price.

Furthermore, for each product and film media that you buy in Spain there is an extra tax to pay royalties. You realize that you reach to pay more than three times the copyright to see a movie.

Many believe that if you charge royalties for a DVD player even if you use it for your own work, the extra money you pay per year justifies sporadic downloads...

Better to be a Welfare State than a State like the USA, Joe. I'm sorry.

Why movies do not sell in Spain:

Case: StarTrek 2009 in BlueRay



At Amazon: 19.49$ which is:
14.52 EUROS

At Fnac.es, which is a large, very well known tech shop chain, and they advertise themselves as "the cheapest place":
28.95 EUROS

COME ON GUYS!, it's about twice the price! and you expect people actually buy stuff with twice the price and half the salary than in the US! ????

In fact, what some people in Spain is already doing is to buy movies from amazon and other neighbour coutries, because, even with shipping costs, its still cheaper than going to the local shop!

but of course, it's too easy to say the responsible is the piracy and failing to see which is the real reason for the missing sales.

Let us just suppose we wanted to buy "300" on DVD at a local retail store...it will be around 30€

Let us just suppose I wanted to buy "300" on DVD on Amazon.co.uk
...that will be around 10€ delivery costs included
Last 10 DVDs I bought, I bought them abroad on the internet.

And after paying 0,80€ extra for "Copyright" for each blank writeable DVD I used to keep my private recordings and files, plus the 14€ extra for "copyright" when I changed my laptop's hard drive, it should hardly come as a surprise if one day I start downloading via bittorrent.

En España compartir cultura sin ánimo de lucro es LEGAL.

Música, libros, peliculas... es CULTURA.

Por lo que compartir estó es LEGAL si NO se consigue dinero a cambio.

Lamento que en otros países se tenga que pagar tanto por la cultura.

Google automatic translation:
In Spain share profit culture is LEGAL.
Music, books, movies ... is CULTURE.

As if this is legal share NOT get money in return.

I regret that in other countries will have to pay so much for culture.

Here in Spain many people can't afford spend 20€ to buy a DVD (or 30 for a BD...). I was in London some weeks ago, and I see BD packs, with 3 nice films at 15 pounds! If in Spain films cost 5€ (or even 10) Im sure piracy will drop down drastically... we'll spend more money in electrical facture xDD
Internet is not killing the industry, is the high price.

About Spain's exports...

Maybe not to US, uhm... wait! Near of the 90% of your "water-like special effects" was made with spanish technology xDD

Yeah, the lobbies as always playing their cards. They want to change our law, our minister of culture is listening to them, but we won't surrender. Because we believe the download of music and movies without aim of obtaining profit can bring more good than bad to our society.

If you don't want to sell us your Dvd, Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Javier Bardem should return to our country, and forget about more Pedro Almodovar o Alejandro Amenábar films!! Call to arms!!

Whats more expensive? to buy a cd in spanish store in Spain or a cd in Amazon Britain?

Easy, in a spanish store.

I buy original DVD, but never in Spain, always out.

An almost twenty percent of unemployed population plus steadily decreasing wages plus a legal umbrella for non-lucrative use of downladed media = Spain, being the second the worst the problems.

Despite manufacturing costs of DVDs decreasing over time since ~2001, prices for new DVDs are still 20+ euros (NOT special editions and such).

That's even more expensive than VHS in its day (and boy, VHS will always be more expensive to manufacture just due to assembly). And no, inflation and filming costs haven't changed enough to justify such a price increase.

Now, trying such a scam-tastic pricing scheme might work in an economically splendid society, but certainly not in the middle of a financial crisis, in a country going thru a mind-boggling 19% unemployment.

So studios and Hollywood lobbies can whine and pressure governments with poisonous articles, FUD and whatever they want. You just can't squeeze more money out of a market that can't constantly afford unnecessary luxuries.

Now back to the "boo-hoo, those evil foreigners don't buy our overpriced crap" articles.

This news is just yellow FUD bullsheet!!

the US is thinking about going back home? that's awesome news indeed.
we want dates and we want them now!

Well, stop selling then. Who cares? We already pay an extra tax for each single one blank DVD, MP3 player, HDD, Computer and (soon) internet connections. Whatever can storage or transfer data gets a tax that goes to the Spanish equivalent of RIIA (SGAE and others), and the distributors get a big cut on that one. Does not matter I will use it to burn my holidays photos, backup of my data or rip a DVD. And due that and private copy right, as far there is no profit, exchange music, movies on P2P nets is legal in Spain. Maybe if buying a DVD/BR instead of costing 50/70 € would cost 15/20 € as in UK you would sell more of those. A good whine is always good. Grow up, adapt to the present.

It´s easy to blame the piracy for all the problems,why don´t they blame the prices?While in USA a new bluray costs 25$ in Spain the same Bluray costs 40$.And a tv season that you can buy in amazon for 45$, in Spain you have to pay 80$.

Ok, let's go their way, I want to buy "Up" from Pixar:

- Spanish DVD from internet retail shop (cheaper than in 'physical' shops): 21.95 € -> 34.46 $ plus shipping .
(BTW, english version in in Amazon: $13.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping )

- Second step, wait a week to receive the DVD (or pay 5-10 $ more near your house )

- 3rd step watching the movie: One non skippable antipiracy ad (I've bougth the fucking movie, why they bug me with this?), a 80's style display of legal restrictions (Again, non skipable), 3 or more trailers.

Result: 35$ dollars one week and 15 minutes of offense later you see the movie. Searching it in internet and seeing the movie via streaming: 0$,0 delays, 0 offense.

The only cultural issue is that Spaniards have a huge aversion to lose face as reputation is often seen as more important than financial success or wellfare . Being ripped-off and insulted (knowing it's an artificial barrier and price) make it personal.

Try setting and internet movie rental service with the same prices that you have in netflix and we'll talk.

Hopefully Amazon will receive our euros half the price it costs us on any major store

Who said journalists are independent?

Research distributed the worst editing in the Spanish market and the most expensive and then wonder why not sell them. In the UK all seasons of Friends on DVD worth 44 pounds and in Spain 150 €, why this price difference? and so thousands examples.

It's not just the price differential and therefore people turn to P2P cause is LEGAL in Spain.

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