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U.S. Copyright Office Report: Right Priorities and Projects

October 25, 2011

The U.S. Copyright Office today released its report outlining priorities and special projects the office will tackle over the next two years. Many of the issues included in the report are incredibly important to the music community. As we are all too aware, the digital age has created great complexities within our copyright system. The issues that the Copyright Office has put forth in its report demonstrate its leadership in tackling these complexities and finding appropriate solutions.  The report serves as a useful template as we look forward to a future where our copyright system incentivizes creators and innovators and fairly compensates rights holders. We commend Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante for this useful report and we look forward to working with her and her office on these thoughtful priorities and projects.

By Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO, RIAA

There's an App for That

October 20, 2011

In 2009 Apple launched a “There’s an app for that” campaign to help sell iProducts by showing consumers all the cool apps that can be used on Apple devices.  Other than being memorable, it appears the commercials could be called effective too, as The NPD Group confirms that app downloads on Apple devices have continued to grow in the years since.  Yet alongside this proliferation, one product continues, year after year, to outsell apps: music.

According to NPD’s new iTunes User Report 2011: “Despite steady growth in app downloads on Apple devices, music remains the primary activity for the average iTunes user.”  Specifically, 54 percent of iTunes users uploaded music to an iPod or listened to music on iTunes, while 28 percent downloaded a free app and 16 percent paid for an app.  Interestingly, among those who purchased any kind of content through iTunes, 75 percent bought music, 39 percent purchased apps and 19 percent paid for video.

Or put another way: nearly twice as many iTunes users paid for music than paid for apps this year.  And nearly quadruple as many iTunes users paid for music than paid for video.

While there is a lot of data out there and one survey cannot tell the whole story, this report adds to the accumulating evidence that music is just as – if not more – popular than it’s ever been.  As we noted last month, and last winter and prior to that: music’s appeal is as high as ever and music remains an economic catalyst for many other industries. 

Case in point:  Want to access music on the go?  There’s an app for that on nearly every computer, tablet, smartphone and mobile device on the market today.  Apple’s is called iTunes and one in four Americans on the Internet use it today. 

Liz Kennedy
Director, Communications, RIAA

Georgia & Nation Gain New IP Ally

October 06, 2011

We learned today that Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) has joined the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet. We wanted to take a moment to congratulate Rep. Johnson on his appointment.  The Judiciary IP subcommittee is lucky to have him.  We know him to be a steady, thoughtful and fair legislator. 

As numerous studies have shown, intellectual property is a unique growth driver for this country, employing more than 5.6 million U.S. workers and contributing more than $889 billion to the U.S. GDP.  We look forward to working with Rep. Johnson and other members of Congress on helping protect the American jobs and creative innovation that helps drive so much of our economy. 

Michele Ballantyne, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Industry Relations, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Landmark California Legislation Curbing CD Plant Piracy Signed Into Law By Governor

October 03, 2011

Please see today’s news release from California Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) about legislation signed into law Sunday by Governor Jerry Brown.  According to the Senator’s office, this new measure “will help reduce music and movie piracy by allowing inspections and verification to ensure that large-scale disc replicating plants are complying with California anti-piracy laws.”  Additional summary details are included in the Senator’s news release.    

Here is a comment from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman:
“With the enactment of this law, California has undertaken a momentous and historic step toward defending jobs and protecting one of the state’s preeminent cultural treasures.  We’re deeply grateful for the work of Senator Padilla, who appreciated the particularly devastating aspect of this form of music piracy and worked skillfully to move his common-sense proposal toward passage.  We also appreciate the fact that Governor Brown recognized the scope of this particular problem and signed the measure into law.”