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News Releases

USTR Names Top Sites & Markets Known For Massive IP Theft

December 20, 2011
Report lists vKontakte, Megaupload, Sogou MP3 & Gougou as "notorious markets"

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today released its annual report on “notorious markets” – locations, physical or online, in which copyright theft is open, pervasive and undermines the respect for the rule of law.  In addition to physical markets such as Argentina’s La Salada that operate in blatant disregard of the law, online businesses such as Russia’s vKontakte, Hong Kong’s Megaupload and China’s Gougou and Sogou MP3 are all featured prominently in the report.

“This report shines a spotlight on the unsavory practices of some of the globe’s most notorious bad actors,” said Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International, RIAA.  “It highlights sites that employ a variety of different means to profit from the theft of music, but in the end, they all rest upon the same untenable proposition—that stealing the creative work of others is acceptable. Some sites like the pay-per-download sites in Russia charge directly for the distribution of illegal music. Others use unlicensed copyrighted works to draw users in order to sell advertising, while others offer infringing music to attract users and build market share. Regardless of whether sites actually host infringing materials or operate to direct traffic to infringing materials, it is long past time for these services, and the countries in which they are located, to take immediate steps to stop the massive theft accomplished by and through these services.”

“We thank USTR for this important contribution to the conversation about how to expand opportunities for the lawful digital distribution of legitimate copyright materials,” Turkewitz added, “and call upon each of these sites to rethink the wisdom and fairness of maintaining services that undermine the ability of artists to earn a living from their craft.”

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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


Chairman Lamar Smith Offers Sensible "Manager's Amendment" For Stop Online Piracy Act

December 12, 2011
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WASHINGTON – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) on Monday announced that he will offer a “manager’s amendment” to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), legislation aimed at cracking down on overseas rogue sites dedicated to the theft of American goods and services online. The bill currently has 29 bipartisan cosponsors and is slated for a mark up before the committee on Thursday, December 15.  Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman offered the following comment on the proposed manager’s amendment:

“We commend Chairman Smith on the collaborative process he has undertaken to produce a manager’s amendment that meaningfully addresses legitimate concerns about the bill as originally introduced.  This legislation is now more focused on the bad actors and provides additional safeguards for legitimate operators.  These changes are reflective of the cooperative efforts led by the chairman’s office and exercised by the creative communities and responsible intermediaries who all agree that overseas rogue sites cause serious damage to American innovation and jobs, and who recognize that the status quo is simply not working.  For those who continue to blindly criticize or suggest ineffective alternatives, it’s becoming ever more apparent that they simply want to defend the status quo because it helps their bottom line.”

The text of the manager’s amendment is available here:  http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/HR%203261%20Managers%20Amendment.pdf.

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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


Chairmen Leahy & Smith to Receive Top Policymaking Honor for Patent Act Passage

December 06, 2011
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WASHINGTON – POLITICO will tonight honor both Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) as “Policymaker of the Year” at the Capitol Hill publication’s first ever Policy and Politics Conference and Awards Dinner.  The bipartisan lawmakers earned the distinction for their sponsorship of, and work to pass, the America Invents Act, one of the only pieces of major tech legislation to become law thus far in 2011.

Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) offered the following comment on the award news:

“We applaud Chairmen Smith and Leahy for leading the effort to pass patent reform legislation this year and for their award recognizing that significant achievement. 

“As two of the most ardent supporters of intellectual property protection that encourages innovation and creates jobs, we know that these two capable legislators will apply the same resolve and leadership to passing rogue websites legislation in 2012 and look forward to working with them on that effort.” 

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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