Illegal file-sharers will cost the European creative industries £215 billion and could put more than one million people out of work by 2015, says Tera Consultants.

A report by the firm on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce that looked at the impact of internet piracy in the UK, as well as Germany, France, Italy and Spain, also revealed 250,000 jobs could be lost in the UK alone.

Tera Consultants said that in 2008, internet piracy caused £1.25bn worth of losses in Europe, proving it's a "major threat to the creative industries in terms of loss of employment and revenues".

"If there was ever the proof needed to demonstrate why the Digital Economy Bill is imperative for the protection of our creative industries, this report is it," said Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), which endorssed the report.

"In the near future and even today in 2010, we observe increasing bandwidth, increasing penetration rate in terms of the Internet," said Tera Consultant's Patrice Geoffron, explaining that piracy was only likely to escalate.

The Digital Economy Bill sets out a number of proposals designed to tackle internet piracy, as well as ensuring all of the UK has access to 2Mbps broadband. 

One of the proposals is for a ‘three strikes' rule, which will see web users suspected of illegal file-sharing issued with warning letters and emails regarding their online activities. Repeat offenders could have their broadband connection slowed down or even temporarily suspended.

The bill also includes a clause that could see ISPs forced by courts to block websites, such as YouTube that contain large amounts of copyright-infringing material.

The bill had its first reading in the Commons on Tuesday night, having just had its third (and final) reading in the Lords on Monday night.

However, there are concerns that the bill will be rushed through Parliament before the General Election, without thorough consideration.