A prize-winning Spanish writer, Lucía Etxebarría, has told Spanish media that she is giving up her writing career as she feels that illegal downloads of her books have caused a major problem not just to her but to writers across the world.
In an interview with El Pais newspaper she said "Today I have seen that more illegal copies of my latest novel have been downloaded than purchased". She went on to say that it was not worth her time writing. Comments she wrote on her Facebook page caused an outcry, leading to her eventually closing it down. Another page has been started asking her to set up a new page.
The writer was born in Valencia in 1966 and has won several big Spanish literary prizes including the Nadal prize and the Planeta prize, both of which come with large amounts of prize money.
Her latest book, called 'El contenido del Silencio' came out in October on Amazon and has seen dismal sales compared to her previous bestselling novels. She said "People are making millions out of online piracy by setting up in places like Belize...they are a powerful lobby and our government doesn't dare legislate."
In the ABC newspaper, she was quoted as saying that she had received "threats and insults" after her posting on Facebook and said that she could not understand why people had reacted so badly when she was just trying to protect the work of writers everywhere.
Illegal downloads have been a big problem for the music and film industries with various measures taken to try to at least slow down the pirates. Figures from the UK point out the number of illegally downloaded films in the region has gone up nearly 30 percent in five years.