The US publisher's trade association, the ESA, has filed a report with the US trade representative pointing out the "rife" piracy of its member's products in Western Europe.
The study, entitled the Special 301 Report, was filed officially by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, of which ESA is a member, and offers a review of copyright and piracy issues in over 48 foreign countries - 40 of which it suggest should be put on a "USTR Watch List".
The report revealed that during December 2008, thirteen selected titles were illegally downloaded 6.4 million times, with the two "most popular" titles that month accounting for 4.7 million downloads. Italy was named as having the heaviest illegal download activity in the region at 17 per cent, followed by Spain being responsible for 15.1 per cent, France at 7.9 per cent, Germany at 6.9 per cent, and Poland accounting for 6.1 per cent.
The top three ISPs used to download titles illegally were also named and shamed, although how the ESA determined this was not stated, with Telecom Italia being used for 11.6 per cent of completed downloads, followed by Spain's Telefonica de Espana with 7.8 per cent, and France Telecom at 3.9 per cent.
"Piracy is the single greatest threat to the innovation, artistic commitment and technological advancements enjoyed by millions of consumers worldwide," said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA.
"Piracy is a job killer that the world economy cannot afford in these difficult economic times. Countries that skirt obligations to combat piracy need to understand the unacceptable damage they are facilitating —and those countries that invest in protecting intellectual property rights and ensure that piracy is not tolerated at any level should be lauded."