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ESA: Mod Chips Still Biggest Global Piracy Concern

Mod chips and game copiers are still the largest obstacle in the war on game piracy, finds the ESA, in a new report estimating 9.78 million illegal game downloads in December 2009 alone.
Look at about 200 popular games on leading peer-to-peer platforms like BitTorrent and Gnutella, and see over 9.78 million successful illegal downloads in just one month, says the Entertainment Software Association. Alongside that estimate of December 2009's illegal download numbers, mod chips and game copiers are still the largest obstacle in the war on game piracy, finds the ESA in a new study on international piracy concerns. The ESA is a member of the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which yesterday filed a comprehensive report on global copyright protection obstacles with the United States Trade Representative. As part of the group report, the ESA helped point out regions that inadequately address piracy, and those where pirates are most active. IIPA is recommending that the USTR investigate and consult with the regions it identifies, which would ultimately lead to sanctions unless better trade protections are implemented. Canada and Mexico were countries at which the report looked closely, recommending them to a "Priority Watch List". The ESA says these nations' inadequate responses to domestic piracy has made them "piracy havens." The report also identified Spain and Brazil as areas warranting close observation particularly in the online space. Altogether, 35 countries were recommended for the watch list. Italy has the largest volume of unauthorized game downloads, and it also has the heaviest illegal downloading per capita, according to the report. "Intellectual property theft stunts our industry’s innovative momentum and job growth," says ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher. "Innovators, artists and consumers are all hurt when foreign markets are closed off because their governments fall short in enacting and enforcing meaningful trade protection measures that discourage large-scale piracy."

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