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RIAA Salutes Introduction Of Bill To Strengthen Global IP Protection

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
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