10/11/2011 10:08 EDT | Updated 12/11/2011 05:12 EST

German book industry urges steps against illegal e-book downloads, though market remains tiny

FRANKFURT - Germany's book industry association is calling for tougher action against pirated copies of e-books, as publishers and agents gather for the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Gottfried Honnefelder, head of the group that represents publishers and booksellers, said at the fair's opening news conference that around 60 per cent of e-book downloads in Germany are pirated through Internet sources such as filesharing sites.

The e-book market remains tiny in Germany, with about 0.5 per cent of the market. E-readers have not caught on as they have in the U.S.

Some 7,400 exhibitors are expected for the fair Wednesday through Sunday. It's a forum for trading in publishing and translation rights.

Iceland is this year's featured guest, with some 35 writers presenting their works.