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RIAA Praises Senate Passage of Major Intellectual Property Legislation

WASHINGTON -- The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today applauded full Senate passage of the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Act of 2008 by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) that would provide additional resources and funding to help strengthen the protection of intellectual property at home and abroad. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the Senate legislation before Congress adjourns, sending the bill to the President for signature into law.

Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO, RIAA commented:  “This bill truly is music to the ears of all those who care about strengthening American creativity and jobs. At a critical economic juncture, this bipartisan legislation provides enhanced protection for an important asset that helps lead our global competitiveness.  The intellectual property industries are widely recognized as a cornerstone of the U.S. economy.  Additional tools for intellectual property enforcement are not just good for the copyright community but for consumers who will enjoy a wider array of legitimate offerings. We congratulate and commend Senators Leahy and Specter and Congressmen Conyers, Berman, Smith and Coble for their leadership and commitment on this important issue.”

Specifically, S. 3325 will:

1)      Prioritize the federal government response to domestic intellectual property crimes by                 streamlining the coordination and improvement of interagency efforts

2)    Provide grants to the Department of Justice to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in enforcing intellectual property‑related crimes

3)      Devote additional agents and resources to the FBI for the study, implementation and active enforcement of efforts against intellectual property and counterfeiting crimes

4)      Provide tools to better gather evidence for the prosecution of IP crimes

BACKGROUND:  According to one recent report, global piracy of copyrighted material costs the U.S. economy $58 billion per year and more than 370,000 jobs and $16 billion in earnings for U.S. workers.

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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 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