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News Releases

RIAA Praises Senate Passage of Major Intellectual Property Legislation

September 26, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today applauded full Senate passage of the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Act of 2008 by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) that would provide additional resources and funding to help strengthen the protection of intellectual property at home and abroad. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the Senate legislation before Congress adjourns, sending the bill to the President for signature into law.

Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO, RIAA commented:  “This bill truly is music to the ears of all those who care about strengthening American creativity and jobs. At a critical economic juncture, this bipartisan legislation provides enhanced protection for an important asset that helps lead our global competitiveness.  The intellectual property industries are widely recognized as a cornerstone of the U.S. economy.  Additional tools for intellectual property enforcement are not just good for the copyright community but for consumers who will enjoy a wider array of legitimate offerings. We congratulate and commend Senators Leahy and Specter and Congressmen Conyers, Berman, Smith and Coble for their leadership and commitment on this important issue.”

Specifically, S. 3325 will:

1)      Prioritize the federal government response to domestic intellectual property crimes by                 streamlining the coordination and improvement of interagency efforts

2)    Provide grants to the Department of Justice to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in enforcing intellectual property‑related crimes

3)      Devote additional agents and resources to the FBI for the study, implementation and active enforcement of efforts against intellectual property and counterfeiting crimes

4)      Provide tools to better gather evidence for the prosecution of IP crimes

BACKGROUND:  According to one recent report, global piracy of copyrighted material costs the U.S. economy $58 billion per year and more than 370,000 jobs and $16 billion in earnings for U.S. workers.

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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


Major Music Industry Groups Announce Breakthrough Agreement

September 23, 2008
WASHINGTON -- In a breakthrough that will facilitate new ways to offer music to consumers online, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), together with the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA), today announced an agreement on how music creators will be compensated for music distributed through certain online models.

The agreement, in the form of draft regulations submitted to the Copyright Royalty Judges, proposes for the first time mechanical royalty rates for interactive streaming and limited downloads, including for subscription and ad-supported services. The agreement proposes a flexible percentage of revenue rate structure, with minimum payments in certain circumstances.

Limited download and interactive streaming services will generally pay a mechanical royalty of 10.5 percent of revenue, less any amounts owed for performance royalties. In certain instances, royalty-free promotional streaming is allowed. Outside the scope of the draft regulations, the parties confirmed that non-interactive, audio-only streaming services do not require reproduction or distribution licenses from copyright owners.

The agreement does not address royalty rates for physical product or permanent music downloads.

 

"This historic agreement is the foundation for a new generation of music distribution," said David Israelite, NMPA President and CEO. "This agreement will ensure that songwriters and music publishers continue to thrive in the digital age. I am grateful for the good faith efforts of everyone involved in the discussions leading to this important announcement."

"This agreement provides a flexible structure to support innovative business models in the digital music marketplace that will benefit music fans, creators and online services," said Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. "The agreement demonstrates that our industries can work collaboratively to solve complex issues."

"Innovative music services will enjoy a more stable business environment because of this agreement and that will benefit music fans and music creators alike," stated Jonathan Potter, Executive Director of DiMA. "DiMA is particularly pleased with the agreement to end litigation and threats of litigation involving several of our member companies, so that they can focus on building innovative businesses that can effectively fight piracy, the music industry’s greatest threat."

Roger Faxon, Chairman and CEO of EMI Music Publishing, who was independently represented in the CRB, also lauded the agreement. "We're very pleased that these matters have finally been agreed, and that we have reached an agreement that is good for the songwriters we represent, and good for music consumers. This is a first step to establishing fair rates that properly compensate writers for their creative efforts, and we'll continue to work hard to establish a framework that properly reflects the value of songs in all their digital forms."

"NSAI, the Nashville Songwriters Association, is proud to be part of this historic agreement which assures that America’s music creators are compensated, music consumers benefit from the many new choices provided by digital technology, and those who invest in America’s intellectual property are rewarded," said Steve Bogard, President, Board of Directors, NSAI.

"Digital music has become the ubiquitous soundtrack of American life," said Rick Carnes, President of SGA. "The digital age has helped American songwriters create more value for both the economy and the culture than ever before.  With this deal, the Songwriters Guild of America, the music publishers, the record labels, and the digital music services have come together in an historic agreement that creates a workable payment structure and a fair rate for songwriters in the digital music distribution models of today and tomorrow."

 

Agreement Facts:

The agreement proposes mechanical royalty rates that cover both limited downloads and interactive streaming, including when offered by subscription and ad-supported services.

The percentage rate structure in the agreement provides much-needed flexibility for new business models.

The agreement permits the use without payment of certain kinds of promotional streams, in the interest of encouraging paid uses of musical compositions.

The agreement confirms that the mechanical licenses issued under its provisions will include all reproduction and distribution rights necessary to provide the licensed limited downloads or interactive streams.

Outside the scope of the draft regulations, the parties confirmed that non-interactive, audio-only streaming services do not require reproduction or distribution licenses from copyright owners.



MEDIA CONTACTS:

DiMA  Ann Brown, (202) 478-6135, abrown@digmedia.org

NMPA Gayle Osterberg, (202) 669-0689, gayle@133publicaffairs.com

RIAA   Jonathan Lamy, (202) 857-9627, jlamy@riaa.com

          Cara Duckworth (202) 857-9629, cduckworth@riaa.com

NSAI   Debi Cochran (615) 256-3354, debi@nashvillesongwriters.com
SGA    Rick Carnes (615) 221-0984,  rickcarnes@songwritersguild.com


DiMA is the only trade organization devoted exclusively to meeting the needs of digital media artists, consumers and producers. DiMA represents companies that develop and utilize digital technologies that enable and provide music and video content online. DiMA always supports fair payment to artists and creators.




The National Music Publishers’ Association is a trade association representing more than 800 American music publishers. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and their songwriter partners in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights.




The Recording Industry Association of America is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conducts consumer, industry and technical research; and monitors and reviews 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.

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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 Salutes Introduction Of Bill To Strengthen Global IP Protection

September 10, 2008
WASHINGTON - Senators Baucus and Hatch today introduced the International Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Act of 2008 that proposes a number of reforms designed to enhance the ability of the U.S. government to improve the global protection of intellectual property. Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO, RIAA issued the following statement in response:

“Intellectual property is widely recognized as an important economic engine for this country. Real, bipartisan efforts to protect this national resource with new, meaningful tools are necessary to energize the economy and maintain our global competitiveness.  This legislation is a welcome verse in a great song. We applaud Senators Baucus and Hatch for their work.”

Neil Turkewitz, EVP International, RIAA added:

“This legislation would not only expand the President’s ability to respond to the theft of US intellectual property, but perhaps even more importantly will provide tools that may help to prevent piracy and counterfeiting in the first instance.  In particular, the bill authorizes appropriations to USTR to assist developing countries in enhancing their protection of intellectual property.  Such assistance may include capacity building, activities designed to increase awareness of intellectual property rights, and training for officials responsible for enforcing intellectual property rights in the developing country.

“The bill also provides for the placement in U.S. embassies of IPR attaches who will serve as liaisons between the United States and the foreign country on matters relating to intellectual property protection and enforcement.

“In the current environment, it is critical to establish greater accountability for all nations to meet their international obligations to protect intellectual property.  This bill recognizes that in some instances, failure to adequately protect intellectual property may—at least in part—result from a lack of capacity rather than a lack of political will.  This legislation aims to close the information and resources gap by enhancing the capacity of foreign governments to address piracy problems that result in losses to the U.S. economy and which interfere with the economic development of societies.  It is premised on the notion that demanding responsibility is not unrelated to the ability to respond.”

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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