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News Releases

RIAA, Copyright Community Name Worst IP Offenders In Special 301 Recommendations to U.S. Trade Rep

February 10, 2012
Report outlines major foreign trade barriers & emerging issues leading to massive theft of U.S. creative community content

WASHINGTON – The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which includes the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other copyright community groups, today highlighted those countries that fail to provide adequate and effective protection for U.S. intellectual property. 

In its submission to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) as part of the annual Special 301 process, the IIPA identified China, Russia and Canada as some of the worst offenders for failing to adopt clear rules prohibiting services that are knowingly and intentionally operated to provide access to infringing materials. 

Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International, for the RIAA offered the following comment:

“This report identifies some of the key shortcomings in the global protection of intellectual property, and highlights key reforms that could—and hopefully will—be undertaken to expand the opportunities for the creative community in the United States, and our global counterparts. One of the beauties of the creative sector is that it is not a zero sum game. When we improve the environment for the protection of intellectual property, we enhance the vitality of all creators, regardless of nationality. We rely on continued leadership from the U.S. government in advancing key norms that will help to nourish creativity wherever it blooms, and to help creators realize financial benefits commensurate with the popularity of the works that they create. Unfortunately, according to IFPI an astonishing 95% of all downloads are estimated to be infringing. That is not a sustainable environment for allowing creators to earn a living from their craft.

“Today’s report is not without good news. We are particularly pleased by recent developments in Spain where the Rajoy Administration has adopted long-stalled implementing regulations to a law that will hopefully permit the Spanish government to begin to address a runaway online piracy problem that has devastated the Spanish music industry. The Italian government is hopefully poised to adopt a similar measure. And there have been a number of important criminal actions undertaken in various jurisdictions, including most recently in Ukraine against the notorious pirate service, ex.ua. where we will be monitoring developments closely. We urge the Government of Ukraine to ensure that the operators of this service are brought to justice.

“Unfortunately, there are far too many places where governments have been far too complacent, or even hospitable, to the operation of services based on providing access to infringing materials. Russia and China lead that list, but they are not alone. It is fair to say that no country, including the United States, has found the right mix of tools to sustain an online environment that is not deeply affected by the unfair competition posed by the broad availability of stolen content. But this must serve as an invitation to action and creative solutions, not an excuse for inaction that imperils creativity and cultural diversity.

“We call upon each country to address the particular issues identified in today’s report. It is particularly important that countries like China, Russia and Canada adopt clear rules prohibiting the operation of services that are knowingly and intentionally operated to provide access to infringing materials. Russia’s vKontakte, China’s  Xunlei/ Gougou and Sohu/Sogou, and Canada’s isoHunt are all permitted to operate such services. The U.S. can ill afford to subsidize these foreign businesses by allowing them to profit from the works created by the American creative community.”

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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 Celebrates 2011 Gold & Platinum Program Awards

February 01, 2012
Record Number of Digital Certifications, Catalog Favorites Surge

WASHINGTON – In another sign of a growing and dynamic digital music marketplace, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awarded more download honors in 2011 than ever before in Gold and Platinum program history, and 25 percent more than in 2010, according to RIAA’s year-end certification tally.


In total, 411 digital songs were certified in 2011, vs. 313 in 2010.  In particular, multi-Platinum download certifications nearly doubled in volume year-over-year: 112 multi-Platinum digital singles were certified in 2011 vs. 66 in 2010!


“It’s exciting to award more download certifications than ever before and another sign that digital music has gone completely mainstream,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA.  “The RIAA’s historic Gold and Platinum program continues to evolve and reflect the way fans access and enjoy music.  We are thrilled to honor a record number of outstanding artist achievements today, and we look forward to another banner year in 2012.”


Rolling in well-deserved recognition, soulful singing sensation Adele earned 2011’s highest G&P album.  Her February and sophomore release “21” (Columbia/XL Recordings) sold more than five million U.S. copies by December to take the top annual album prize at 5x multi-Platinum.


Two enormously acclaimed artists – Interscope songstress Lady Gaga and Universal Records rapper Lil Wayne – tied for the second highest album honor of the year: double-Platinum awards for their respective 2011 releases “Born This Way” and “Tha Carter IV.”  Both acts also procured phenomenal digital tallies, with Gaga’s 2011 song certifications representing more than 19 million paid downloads, and Lil Wayne’s tallying ten million digital song purchases.


2011’s three top certified digital singles, each 6x multi-Platinum, are Flo Rida’s “Low” (Atlantic, 2007), Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” (Atlantic, 2008) and Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” (Interscope, 2008).  Only one other song has thus far received the prestigious 6x multi-Platinum accolade, the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” in 2010.


The highest certified song released in 2011 was Eminem’s passionately turbulent track “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna.  Released in June on Interscope, the love-gone-wrong song certified 5x multi-Platinum by October, representing more than five million U.S. downloads sold.
Eminem racked up some serious additional accolades in 2011, including a 4x multi-Platinum plaque for his latest album “Recovery” (2010).  And as the cherry on top, Em also brought home two RIAA Diamond awards for “The Marshall Mathers EP” (2000) and “The Eminem Show” (2002) selling more than 10 million copies each!


The RIAA awarded two additional Diamond awards in 2011 for 2Pac’s “Greatest Hits” (Interscope, 1998) and Elvis’ “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (RCA Camden & Pickwick, 1970). 


Other catalogue albums tearing up the 2011 charts by earning high G&P rank include 5x multi-Platinum awards for Guns N’ Roses “Greatest Hits” (Geffen, 2004), Elton John’s “Elton John's Greatest Hits: 1970 – 2002” (Island Records, 2002) and Taylor Swift’s debut “Taylor Swift” (Big Machine, 2006).  In addition, 2x multi-Platinum certifications were awarded to Kings of Leon’s “Only by the Night” (RCA, 2008), Kiss’ “Destroyer” (Casablanca, 1976) and Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” (Arista Nashville, 2009).


5x multi-Platinum digital certs were awarded to popular 2010 songs “Rolling in the Deep” by Columbia songstress Adele, “Dynamite” from Mercury Records rocker Taio Cruz, “Forget You” by Elektra artist and The Voice coach Cee Lo Green and “Firework” by Capitol Records princess Katy Perry.  Country trio Lady Antebellum’s best selling song, their 2009 ballad “Need You Now” (Capitol Nashville), also secured a 5x multi-Platinum plaque.


Five songs released in 2011 netted triple-Platinum plaques to tie for the year’s second best selling downloads: Adele’s “Someone Like You,” Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (Columbia), LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” (Interscope), Jennifer Lopez’s “On The Floor” (Island) and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” (Universal Republic).  Minaj also took home two Platinums for “Your Love” and “Moment 4 Life.”


Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Lady Antebellum each earned Platinum awards for their respective 2011 album releases, marking a continuation of each act’s successful track record of taking every album released Platinum.  Beyonce’s “4” (Parkwood Entertainment, Columbia), Bieber’s “Never Say Never – The Remixes” and “Under The Mistletoe” (both on Island), Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” (Parlophone, EMI) and Lady Antebellum’s “Own The Night” (Capitol Nashville) each sold more than one million copies in 2011.


It was also a strong year for Rihanna who raked in the brass with numerous certifications.  Ri-Ri procured a Platinum plaque for 2010 album “Loud” and a Gold award for 2011 record “Talk That Talk.”  The Def Jam diva also earned several single awards including “Only Girl (In the World)” (3x multi-Plat), “What’s My Name” (2x multi-Plat) and “We Found Love,” “S&M” and “Cheers (Drink to That)” (each Platinum).


Continuing their successful trend, many of music’s most popular artists earned Gold awards for their 2011 album releases: Tony Bennett’s “Duets” (RPM/Columbia), Chris Brown’s “F.A.M.E.” (Jive), Luke Bryan’s “Tailgates & Tanlines” (Capitol Nashville), Eric Church’s “Chief” (EMI Records Nashville), Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” (RCA Records), Daughtry’s “Break The Spell” (RCA Records), Jackie Evancho’s “Dream With Me” (Columbia/Syco Music), Miranda Lambert’s “Four The Record” (RCA Nashville), Brad Paisley’s “This Is Country Music” (Arista Nashville) and Blake Shelton’s “Red River Blue” (Warner Bros.).


Invoking what is often a defining moment in a recording artist’s career, many supremely talented musicians earned their very first RIAA Gold or Platinum awards in 2011.


Four golden acts had huge 2011 debuts as their first albums each sold more than 500,000 million copies to certify Gold:  L.A. band Foster The People’s “Torches” (Columbia), NY rapper J. Cole’s “Cole World: The Sideline Story” (Roc Nation), 2011 American Idol winner Scotty McCreery’s “Clear As Day” (Mercury Nashville) and Pittsburgh proud lyricist Wiz Khalifa’s “Rolling Papers” (Atlantic).


In tandem, each popular talent also earned notable first song download awards.  Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow” both scored 3x multi-Platinum awards, while Wiz also earned a Platinum for “No Sleep” and two Golds for “On My Level” and “Roll Up.”  First-time Gold awards were also earned by J. Cole for “Workout” and Scotty McCreery for “Clear As Day” and “I Love You This Big.”


First-time double-Platinum album awards were presented to Georgia raised country crooner Jason Aldean and British folk rock group Mumford & Sons for their respective 2010 debuts “My Kinda Party” (Broken Bow) and “Sign No More” (Glassnote Records).


Hawaiian smooth singer Bruno Mars and Mississippi sibling trio The Band Perry took home their first Platinum album awards for debuts “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” (Elektra, 2010) and “The Band Perry” (Big Machine, 2010).  The Band Perry also certified “If I Die Young” triple-Platinum and Bruno Mars brought “Just The Way You Are” 4x multi-Platinum, “Grenade” 3x multi-Platinum” and “The Lazy Song” Gold.


While a lucky 111 digital songs certified Platinum in 2011, notable first-time Platinum plaques were awarded to Cobra Starship’s “You Make Me Feel” (Fueled By Ramen), Eli Young Band’s “Crazy Girl” (Republic Nashville), Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” (Universal Records), Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight” (Jive), Jessie J’s “Price Tag” (Universal Records), La Roux’s “Bulletproof” (Interscope), Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (RCA Nashville), Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” (Universal Motown), Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” (Columbia), Tinie Tempah’s “Written In The Stars” (Capitol) and Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” (Stoney Creek Records).


First-time Gold download awards reached rising stars including Auburn’s “La La La” (Warner Bros.), VV Brown’s “Shark In The Water” (Capitol), Miranda Cosgrove’s “Kissin U” (Columbia), Kristinia DeBarge’s “Goodbye” (Def Jam), Brandon Heath’s “Give Me Your Eyes” (Reunion Records), Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” (Hollywood), Christina Perri’s “Jar Of Hearts” (Atlantic), Big Sean’s “My Last” (Def Jam) and The Black Keys’ “Tighten Up” (Nonesuch).


In 2011 the RIAA awarded a total of 168 album and 411 digital single certifications.  All certifications are calculated by Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman.  Complete lists of all album, single, mastertone and video awards can also be accessed at www.riaa.com.

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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