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DIGITAL 'NOT JUST OUR FUTURE, IT IS OUR PRESENT' SAYS RIAA IN COMMENTS TO ADMINISTRATION

November 13, 2013
Remarks come as RIAA hits 35 million takedown requests to Google for illegal content

WASHINGTON – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today touted the music business’ digital transformation and music’s central role in culture and commerce in its remarks to the Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) regarding the Department’s Green Paper, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.”

Noting that the music business is now primarily a digital business that derives approximately 60 percent of its revenues from a wide array of digital sources, RIAA offered several examples of how music drives innovation and products:

· Music is driving developments at major technology companies:  In the past few years, technology companies from Google to Apple to Amazon, as well as a variety of startups announced and funded the development of new music delivery services.

· Music has driven adoption of smartphones and tablets:  Virtually every smartphone or tablet manufacturer includes music player capability within the device, and has marketed at least one of its devices by, among other things, touting the device’s music capabilities.

· In-car music enhancements have driven the sale of cars:  Luxury cars are marketing themselves based on the enhanced digital music experience in the car, and now more than 100 vehicle models have digital radio in the dashboard.


While also providing examples of how music is at the center of social media platforms (emphasis added):

· Facebook:  37 of the top 50  pages (74%) of any genre on Facebook are for creative content (music, books, movies/TV) or creators of creative content and  9 of the top 10 celebrities on Facebook are sound recording artists. Music is also driving the creation of new apps and digital advertising methodologies on FaceBook.

· Twitter:  39 of the top 50 profiles (78%) on Twitter are for actors or sound recording artists and 9 of the top 10 celebrities on Twitter are sound recording artists. 

· YouTube:  28 of the top 30 most viewed videos (93%) on YouTube are official videos for sound recordings owned or distributed by the major record labels.

 

The organization endorsed voluntary collaborations with Internet intermediaries to address many of the piracy issues raised by the Green Paper, but noted the lack of any kind of voluntary initiative with search engines as a main reason behind problems such as the ineffectiveness of the current notice and takedown provision of the DMCA. This comes as the organization recently hit a significant milestone in the number of requests for URL takedowns to Google.

“We continue to find Katy Perry’s song ‘Roar’ on mp3skull.com among the first Google search results for ‘Katy Perry Roar Mp3’ after we have sent well over 300 notices about the recording to mp3skull.com and to Google,” reads RIAA’s filing.  “In fact, we have sent over 35 million copyright removal requests to Google concerning roughly 200 rogue sites, and yet some of the top noticed sites continue to show up on the first page of search results. Locking both creators and intermediaries into an old, ineffective system squelches innovation and stunts the growth of new Internet services that consumers demand, while also limiting the ability to properly address the potential abuse that the current system may inadvertently incentivize.”

A copy of the RIAA’s remarks 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


IP & TECHNOLOGY LAW VETERAN JOINS RIAA AS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, LITIGATION & LEGAL AFFAIRS

November 12, 2013
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced it has hired intellectual property and technology law veteran George Borkowski as its new Senior Vice President, Litigation and Legal Affairs.

WASHINGTON – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced it has hired intellectual property and technology law veteran George Borkowski as its new Senior Vice President, Litigation and Legal Affairs.

Borkowski comes to the RIAA with more than two decades worth of experience in intellectual property, entertainment, and technology litigation and counseling. Borkowski previously worked at the RIAA as Interim Director of Civil Litigation from 2000-2001 where he managed the in-house legal department and worked on copyright and technology issues. Since then Borkowski has served as Partner at law firms Freeman Freeman & Smiley LLP in Los Angeles, Venable LLP, and Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP where he also founded and chaired the IP and Technology Practice Group.

A member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society, Borkowski served as Chair of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Executive Committee of IP/Internet & New Media Section and as a member of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section Executive Committee. He holds a B.A. from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

“We are thrilled to have George join the RIAA,” said Steven M. Marks, Chief, Digital Business and General Counsel, RIAA. “George brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his impressive representation of music and media companies. A versatile litigator and counselor, George will help us navigate complex issues and opportunities at this critical time for the music industry.”

As SVP, Litigation and Legal Affairs, Borkowksi is responsible for overseeing the organization’s litigation matters and providing counsel on a variety of legal issues. Borkowski reports to Marks at the organization’s Washington, DC headquarters. He officially joined the RIAA on November 11th.

Borkowski replaces Jennifer Pariser who is leaving the organization to pursue her career in New York where she resides with her family. Pariser, a music industry veteran, was the lead counsel on RIAA’s successful litigation effort against illegal site LimeWire, among other notable cases.

“Jenny has been a tremendous asset to the RIAA team and we will miss her vast knowledge of copyright law and music industry issues,” said Marks. “We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”

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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