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News Releases

Attorney General, ICE Announce Sweeping Anti-Piracy Initiative

November 29, 2010
WASHINGTON (Nov. 29th): U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton today announced operation "In Our Sites v. 2.0," a sweeping intellectual property enforcement initiative targeting some of the most notorious and flagrant websites trafficking in online music theft.

Below is a comment from Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 

“Federal law enforcement authorities have now hung a ‘closed for business’ sign on some of the most notorious music websites that were havens for copyright theft. No anti-piracy initiative is a silver bullet, but targeted government enforcement against the worst of the worst rogue sites sends a strong message that illegally trafficking in creative works carries real consequences and won’t be tolerated. This also makes clear that a priority of this Administration is protecting American jobs and property rights. On this day shortly after we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, the Obama Administration, led by Director Morton, Attorney General Holder and a team of prosecutors, have given the music community much to be thankful for.

“This initiative demonstrates that federal prosecutors can deploy the government’s legal tools with careful and calibrated discretion. Just as in the physical world, prosecutors and courts know how to assess evidence and distinguish between legitimate businesses and those that flout the law. To those who may question this initiative -- who seemingly prefer chaos on the Internet to the rule of law -- I urge you to come forward with viable and effective mechanisms to contain the theft that is not only wrong, but devastating to America's artists and creative industries. The answer simply can’t be ‘do nothing.’”  

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

Contact:
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy
202/775-0101


RIAA Applauds Congressional Action On Rogue Sites Bill

November 18, 2010
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation (the Combating Online Infringement & Counterfeits Act) sponsored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and 15 additional senators that aims to take action against foreign sites that prey on American consumers, manufacturers and creative industries by providing access to illegal content.

Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA, offered the following statement on the committee’s overwhelming approval of the bill:

“We are proud to lend our voice to the chorus of supporters of this important bipartisan legislation. In a world where hackers and copyright thieves are able to take down websites, rip off American consumers and rake in huge profits operating rogue businesses built on the backs of the American creative community, the committee has taken a strong step toward fostering a more safe and secure online experience for consumers.

“With this first vote, Congress has begun to strike at the lifeline of foreign scam sites, while protecting free speech and boosting the legal online marketplace. We congratulate Chairman Leahy and Senator Hatch for their leadership on this bill and to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its action today.”


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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

Contact:
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy
202/775-0101


RIAA Spotlights Problem of Notorious Websites and Markets In Filing With U.S. Government

November 08, 2010
WASHINGTON - In response to the request from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has submitted its filing on "notorious markets." Included in its list are both physical and online markets whose businesses are primarily driven by the illegal sales or downloads of unauthorized music.

In its submission, the RIAA pointed to several illicit online sites based overseas that actively encourage and facilitate music theft. Increasingly, these rogue websites line the pockets of their operators without paying a cent to creators behind the content. These sites seriously undermine the legitimate global marketplace and devalue American products.

"This is an important and new opportunity to shine a spotlight on notorious markets and websites that provide unauthorized access to U.S. content," said Neil Turkewitz, EVP, International.

"RIAA members are excited about the potential of the Internet and other communication technologies to provide an efficient means of distribution to music lovers globally," wrote Turkewitz in a letter accompanying the submission to USTR. "Regrettably, this potential remains largely unrealized – mired in a morass of piracy. We hope that this process will be helpful in illuminating the practices of some of the worst actors in global markets, and that by addressing these markets, we can take a big step towards creating greater accountability that will expand opportunities for legitimate commerce."

The RIAA echoed the concerns of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, co-sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who this past May unveiled its "2010 International Piracy Watch List" that included several sites listed in the RIAA’s recent filing to USTR. Specifically, the IAPC singled out Chinese company Baidu, Swedish-based the Pirate Bay, Luxembourg-hosted RMX4U, and Swiss-operated Rapidshare, all of which provide access to free, unlicensed music without paying a cent to its creators. In addition to these notorious online markets, the RIAA also included Russian social-networking site vKontakte whose main music functionality is specifically designed to allow its 93 million members to upload and stream unauthorized music and videos.

A copy of the letter is available upon request.

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

Contact:
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy
202/775-0101


RIAA Statement On Damages In Third Jammie Thomas-Rasset File-Sharing Trial

November 03, 2010
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota jury today handed down a decision on damages in the case of egregious file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset in the amount of $1.5 million. Below is the statement from the RIAA on the jury's decision:

"We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognized the severity of the defendant's misconduct. Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset's willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions."

 

BACKGROUND

*More than 1700 songs were found in Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s shared folder on the peer-to-peer network KaZaA; the music labels sued on 24 of those songs

*Ms. Thomas-Rasset has flatly rejected every settlement offer extended her; including the most recent offer of $25,000 to be donated to a musicians’ charity.

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

Contact:
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy
202/775-0101


Top Artists Featured In Launch Of New Music Gifting Campaign

November 01, 2010
Susan Boyle, Colbie Caillat, Kelly Clarkson, Randy Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Little Big Town,
Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, And More Share Their Favorite Memories

MARLTON, NJ / WASHINGTON, DC – November 1, 2010: --- The nation’s leading music retailers, record labels and nearly thirty artists, along with supporting organizations across the industry, are today helping kick off a new promotional effort designed to relaunch and revitalize the historic "Give The Gift Of Music" (GTGOM) campaign for today’s marketplace.

Organized by NARM, the music business association, and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), today is the official unveiling of the first component of a multi-faceted GTGOM campaign: a branded web site — www.givethegiftofmusic.info — that allows consumers to hear how music gifts have touched the lives of their favorite artists; share their own gifting memories; discover new music gift ideas; and tell friends and loved ones what’s on their own music wish lists all year long.

“Studies show that there continues to be extraordinary interest in the gifting of music for all types of holidays and occasions, or simply to show someone you’re thinking of them,” says NARM President, Jim Donio. “This is particularly true in today’s economy, since music is both affordable and lasts a lifetime. This is a great time to provide consumers with information and ideas they can use to inspire their music gifting. The tools that this campaign brings to consumers will make it easier than ever for people to find and give the perfect music gift.”

The consumer-focused, interactive web site features: artist quotes and videos about special music gift memories; a section where music fans can post their own music gift stories; a gift registry where fans can suggest music gifts they'd like to receive from friends and loved ones; a searchable new release database to inspire gift ideas; and highlights of currently available or upcoming boxed sets, special editions or other deluxe music products.

Consumers can also interact with the campaign on their favorite social media sites, including Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/givethegiftofmusic) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/agiftofmusic).

Independent retailers will be wrapping music gifts on Black Friday, November 26 using Gift The Gift Of Music stickers.

“As we enter this holiday season, there really is no better gift than the gift of music. Few things can spark the soul or speak to the heart like music,” said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. “The music community has come together in a powerful and singular way to promote this initiative, including this handy one-stop-shopping site for tips that fans need to know about gifting music.”

A robust group of recording artists have contributed their most memorable music gifting stories and sentiments.

Artists supporting the campaign are:
• Kris Allen, Jive Records
• Allstar Weekend, Hollywood Records
• Susan Boyle, Columbia Records
• Colbie Caillat, Universal Republic Records
• Jocelyn Celaya, Radical Classical
• Kelly Clarkson, RCA Records
• David Cook, RCA Records
• El DeBarge, Interscope/Geffen Records
• Gavin DeGraw, RCA Records
• The Doors (Ray Manzarek), Rhino Entertainment
• Matt Duke, Rykodisc
• Melanie Fiona, SRC Records
• Good Charlotte, Capitol Records
• Heart (Ann Wilson), Sony Legacy
• Randy Jackson
• Cyndi Lauper, Downtown Records
• Liam and Me (Matt O’Dowd)
• Little Big Town, Capitol Nashville
• Tony Lucca, Rock Ridge Music
• John Oates, PS Records
• Mike Posner, J Records
• Rascal Flatts, Big Machine Records
• Darius Rucker, Capitol Nashville
• Blake Shelton, Warner Music Nashville
• Shontelle, Universal Motown
• Sick Puppies (Emma Anzai), Virgin Records
• Sister Hazel (Ken Block), Rock Ridge Music
• Sister Hazel (Mark Trojanowski), Rock Ridge Music
• Jazmine Sullivan, J Records

The site’s B2B section allows industry leaders to download the logo for use on all company and artist web sites, as well as in packaging, advertising, promotion, marketing, and merchandising efforts. Industry PR and marketing teams will work together to develop additional ways to promote the campaign, utilizing both traditional and the newest social media and networking opportunities.

A variety of industry organizations have come together in support of the campaign: American Association of Independent Music (A2IM); American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); Association for Christian Retail (CBA); Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA); Country Music Association (CMA); Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA); Gospel Music Association (GMA); Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI); National Music Publishers Association (NMPA); and The Recording Academy (NARAS).

About NARM: NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) advances the promotion, marketing, distribution and sale of music by providing members with diverse meeting and networking opportunities, information and education resources, and advocacy for their common interests. NARM is based in Marlton, NJ. Visit www.narm.com.

About RIAA: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States. Visit www.riaa.com.


Press Contact:   
Nicole Hennessey, NARM, (856) 596-1803, hennessey@narm.com
Jonathan Lamy, RIAA, (202) 775-0101, jlamy@riaa.com

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi- Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

Contact:
Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy
202/775-0101