Recording Industry Association of America

Recording Industry Association of America
Formation 1952
Type Licensing and royalties, technical standards
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Location United States
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cary Sherman

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents recording industry distributors in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA say “create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States.”[1] RIAA has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.[2][3]

The RIAA was formed in 1952.[7]

The RIAA participates in the Gold and Platinum albums and singles in the USA.

The RIAA lists its goals as:[1]

  1. to protect First Amendment rights of artists;
  2. to perform research about the music industry;
  3. to monitor and review relevant laws, regulations and policies;


[edit] Company structure and sales

Cary Sherman has been the RIAA’s chairman and CEO since 2011. Sherman joined the RIAA as its general counsel in 1997 and became president of the board of directors in 2001, serving in that position until being made chairman and CEO.

Mitch Glazier has been the RIAA’s senior executive vice president since 2011. He served as executive vice president for public policy and industry relations from 2000 to 2011.

The past RIAA chairman and CEO is the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

The board of directors consists of 26 members of the board, drawn mostly from the big three members of the RIAA.[8] The board is currently made up of:

The RIAA represents over 1,600 member labels, which are private corporate entities such as record labels and distributors, and collectively create and distribute about 90% of recorded music sold in the United States. The largest and most influential of the members are the “Big Three” that include:

The RIAA reports that total retail value of recordings sold by their members was $10.4 billion[9] at the end of 2007, a decline from $14.6 billion in 1999.

[edit] Sales certification

The RIAA operates an award program for albums that sell a large number of copies.[12]

Since 2000,[13]

[edit] “Digital” sales certification

In 2004, the RIAA added a branch of certification for what it calls “digital” recordings, meaning roughly “recordings transferred to the recipient over a network” (such as those sold via the [update], the certification criteria for these recordings are as follows:

  • Silver: 100,000 copies
  • Gold: 500,000 copies
  • Platinum: 1,000,000 copies
  • Multi-Platinum: 2,000,000 copies
  • Diamond: 10,000,000 copies

[edit] Video Longform certification

Along with albums, digital albums, and singles there is another classification of music release called “Video Longform.” This release format includes DVD and VHS releases, and certain live albums and compilation albums. The certification criteria is slightly different from other styles.[15]

  • Gold: 50,000
  • Platinum: 100,000

[edit] Efforts against infringement of members’ copyrights

[edit] Efforts against file sharing

The RIAA opposes unauthorized sharing of its music. Studies conducted since the association began its campaign against peer-to-peer file-sharing have concluded that losses incurred per download range from negligible[18]

The association has commenced high profile lawsuits against file sharing service providers. It has also commenced a series of lawsuits against individuals suspected of file sharing, notably college students and parents of file sharing children. It is accused of employing techniques such as peer-to-peer “decoying” and “[20]

As of late 2008 they have announced they will stop their lawsuits,[23]

[edit] Selection of defendants

The RIAA names defendants based on ISP identification of the subscriber associated with an [27] though the final amount of damages has not been determined).

The [29]

The RIAA’s methods of identifying individual users had, in some rare cases, led to the issuing of [32]

[edit] Settlement programs

In February 2007 the RIAA began sending letters accusing Internet users of sharing files and directing them to web site P2PLAWSUITS.COM, where they can make “discount” settlements payable by credit card.[35]

The RIAA also launched an “early [38]

In October 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit in the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco claiming the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 player violated the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act. The Rio PMP300 was significant because it was the second portable consumer MP3 digital audio player released on the market. The three judge panel ruled in favor of Diamond, paving the way for the development of the portable digital player market.[39]

In 2003, the RIAA sued college student developers of LAN search engines [42]

In September 2003, the RIAA filed suit in civil court against several private individuals who had shared large numbers of files with Kazaa. Most of these suits were settled with monetary payments averaging $3,000. Kazaa publisher Sharman Networks responded with a lawsuit against the RIAA, alleging that the terms of use of the network were violated and that unauthorized client software was used in the investigation to track down the individual file sharers (such as Kazaa Lite). An effort to throw out this suit was denied in January 2004, however, that suit was settled in 2006. Sharman Networks agreed to a global settlement of litigation brought against it by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), and the RIAA. The creators of the popular Kazaa file-sharing network will pay $115 million to the RIAA, unspecified future amounts to the MPAA and the software industry, and install filters on its networks to prevent users from sharing copyrighted works on its network.[43] Michael L. Williams 15:31, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

RIAA has also filed suit in 2006 to enjoin digital [45]

On October 12, 2007, the RIAA sued seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the company from “aiding, encouraging, enabling, inducing, causing, materially contributing to, or otherwise facilitating” copyright infringement. This suit, the first that the RIAA has filed against a Usenet provider, has added another branch to the RIAA’s rapidly expanding fight to curb the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials. Unlike many of the RIAA’s previous lawsuits, this suit is filed against the provider of a service who has no direct means of removing infringing content. The RIAA’s argument relies heavily on the fact the, the only defendant that has been named currently, promoted their service with slogans and phrases that strongly suggested that the service could be used to obtain free music.

On April 28, 2008, RIAA member labels sued Project Playlist, a web music search site, claiming that the majority of the sound recordings in the site’s index of links are infringing. Project Playlist’s website denies that any of the music is hosted on Project Playlist’s own servers.[46]

On June 30, 2009, The Recording Industry Association of America prevailed in its fight against, in a decision, that the U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main arguments: that is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most important for future cases, Baer said that can’t claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision. That ruling states, companies can’t be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is “capable of significant non-infringing uses.”[48]

On October 26, 2010, RIAA members won a case against LimeWire, a P2P file sharing network, for illegal distribution of copyrighted works.[50]

[edit] The “work made for hire” controversy

In 1999, Mitch Glazier, a Congressional staff attorney, inserted, without public notice or comment, substantive language into the final markup of a “technical corrections” section of copyright legislation, classifying many music recordings as “[55]

[edit] Presidents of RIAA

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^
  2. ^ Privacy Policy.” Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on September 13, 2011. “RIAA, 1025 F Street NW, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20004.”
  3. ^ RIAA.” Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on September 13, 2011. “We are located at 1025 F ST N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20004.”
  4. ^ “RIAA News Room – RIAA Celebrates 50 Years Of Gold Records – Aug 11, 2008”. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  5. ^ “New Disk Trade Org To Swing Into Action”, Billboard Magazine, September 22, 1951, pages 13 and 20
  6. ^ RIAA Equalization Curve For Phonograph Records By Don Hoglund
  7. ^ RIAA Bulletins E 3 and E 4
  8. ^ Board of the RIAA (RIAA website)
  9. ^ [1] (RIAA website)
  10. ^ RIAA Website. “Gold and Platinum (Index)”.
  11. ^ “Recording Industry Association of America”. RIAA. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
  12. ^ RIAA Website. “Gold and Platinum Certification”.
  13. ^ Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  14. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  15. ^ Latest Video Longform Certifications Retrieved on May 14, 2008
  16. ^ “Microsoft Word – FileSharing_March2004.doc” (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  17. ^ A Heretical View of File Sharing, by John Schwartz, The New York Times, 5 April 2004
  18. ^ Siwek, Stephen E. The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy to the U.S. Economy (2007) IPI Policy Report 188, 2007, 6-10.
  19. ^ The Register (2003-01-17). “”I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA” – whistleblower”. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  20. ^ The Register (2003-03-18). “RIAA chief invokes Martin Luther King in pigopoly defense: P2P poisoning, ISP clampdown justified”. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  21. ^ Slattery, Brennon (December 19, 2008). “RIAA Stops Suing Individuals: Are We Home Free?”. PCWorld. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  22. ^ “UNLIMITED | CMU | Verizon backtrack on three-strike disconnect claim”. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  23. ^ “Verizon Spokeswoman Responds to CNET Report – Verizon PolicyBlog”. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  24. ^ CBS News (2005-12-27). “Mom Fights Recording Industry”. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
  25. ^ “Tenenbaum says he faces bankruptcy after 675k piracy verdict”. Computerworld. 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  26. ^ “Thomas verdict: willful infringement, $1.92 million penalty | Ethiopian News”. 2009-07-12. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  27. ^ Anderson, Nate (2010-01-22). “Judge slashes “monstrous” P2P award by 97% to $54,000″. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  28. ^ “Citing Right to Anonymity Online, ACLU Asks Boston Court to Block Recording Industry Subpoena” (Press release). American Civil Liberties Union. 2003-09-29. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
  29. ^ “Record Industry Cuts Corners in Crusade Against File-Sharers” (Press release). Public Citizen. 2004-02-02. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  30. ^ I sue dead people, Ars Technica, 4 February 2005.
  31. ^ “Grandmother piracy lawsuit dropped”. BBC News. 2003-09-25. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  32. ^ RIAA sues computer-less family, by Anders Bylund, Ars Technica, 24 April 2006.
  33. ^ Meg Marco (March 2007). “RIAA Bullies College Students With”.
  34. ^ Retrieved 2007-04-02.
  35. ^ “Teen Transplant Candidate Sued Over Music Downloads”. 2008-12-09.
  36. ^ RIAA Adopts New Policy, offers Pre-Doe settlement option if ISP Holds Logs Longer, Asks ISP’s to Correct Identification Mistakes” Recording Industry vs. The People, February 13, 2007.
  37. ^ RIAA targets university students” (
  38. East Carolina University), April 4, 2007
  39. ^ Court OKs Diamond Rio MP3 Player, by Elizabeth Clampet, InternetNews.Com, 16 June 1999
  40. ^ Borland, John. “RIAA sues campus file-swappers – CNET News”. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  41. ^ “The Heights – Record industry sues Flatlan operators”. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
  42. dead link]
  43. ^ by Michael Williams [3] “Sharman Networks settles Kazaa file-sharing lawsuits”, 12/16/2011
  44. ^ XM Faces The Music In RIAA Copyright Suit, by Joseph Palenchar, TWICE, 22 May 2006
  45. ^ RIAA sues Internet radio stations,, July 2001
  46. ^ Sandoval, Greg (2008-04-28). “RIAA files copyright suit against Project Playlist”. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  47. ^ by Greg Sandoval [4] RIAA triumphs in Usenet copyright case, 12/17/2011
  48. ^ by Richi Jennings [5] “ loses MP3 copyright lawsuit vs. RIAA”, 12/17/2011
  49. ^ RIAA Wins: LimeWire Shut Down By Court Order, by KerryOnWorld, 27 Oct 2010
  50. ^ Thomas Mennecke (2010-10-29). “RIAA and LimeWire Both are Offline”.
  51. ^ Wired (2000-08-10). “Rule Reversal: Blame It on RIAA”. Retrieved 2007-04-09.
  52. ^ “RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales”.
  53. ^ Eric Boehlert (2000-08-28). “Four Little Words”. Salon. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
  54. ^ Barry Willis (2000-10-29). “Clinton Signs Repeal of “Works for Hire” Law”. Stereophile. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
  55. ^ Pub.L. 106–379
  56. ^ “Goddard Lieberson Named Head of Record Association”. New York Times. January 22, 1964. Retrieved 2012-08-25. “Goddard Lieberson, head of Columbia Records, was elected president of the Record Industry Association of America yesterday. …”

[edit] External links

Source: Wikipedia

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