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The RIAA, short for Recording Industry Association of America is an organization which represents the major record labels' intellectual property rights.
In the past decade, since the takedown of the original Napster, the RIAA has become very aggressive towards alleged file sharers and pirates. In the RIAA's own words, "our mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members' creative and financial vitality."
Anti-piracy has become the major focus of the RIAA, especially the unauthorized distribution of individual files and full albums. The RIAA classes piracy in the following ways:
-Any recording that is duplicated without unauthorization, not including ripping of tracks from legitimate CDs.
-Counterfeit recordings such as bootleg CDs that include duplicated packaging.
-Illegal recordings of live or broadcast music.
-The uploading or downloading of unauthorized tracks from file sharing networks such as Limewire, ed2k, or Kazaa.
The RIAA has increasingly begun suing those accused of the latter reason, uploading songs to P2P networks. Those accused can settle with the record labels and RIAA for $3000 USD usually but a few have taken the cases to court.
There are many similar organizations around the world including MPAA, BREIN, CRIA, IFPI and ARIA.
RIAA in the News
RIAA allegedly seeking piracy tax on internet access-The folks at the Digital Freedom website are hearing whispers of a new tax some RIAA lobbyists are trying to get enacted which would be applied to every internet account in the US. The so-called Piracy Tax would be used to "compensate" record labels for internet piracy. (14 June 2008)
Record labels sue P2P pioneer for $20 million USD-MP2P Techonologies has announced that they were recently served with a lawsuit by the Spanish branches of the Big 4 labels. Warner Music Spain, Universal Music Spain, EMI music Spain and Sony BMG Music along with the Spanish branch of the IFPI, the Promusicae, are seeking $20 million USD in damages for what they call "unfair competition." (8 June 2008)
RIAA claims victory over AllofMP3- The RIAA has declared complete victory over the infamous Russian music download store AllofMP3 which was accused of selling tracks but not giving any of the proceeds to the artists or record labels. (27 May 2008)
RIAA finds new way to fight college piracy-According to a new report, the content industry is ramping up its efforts to control piracy on college campuses and the RIAA is at the head of the effort. (18 May 2008)
Jammie Thomas begins music sharing case appeal- Jammie Thomas, the Minnesota woman ordered to pay the record industry $220,000 USD for unauthorized sharing of music file is finally getting her chance to appeal the case, and may get to see the jury once more. (17 May 2008)
Andersen wants to end the RIAA- Former RIAA defendant Tanya Andersen has filed an amended complaint in her malicious protection lawsuit against the record labels and RIAA themselves. This marks the fourth complaint submitted by Andersen's lawyer, Lory Lybeck. All prior submissions have been rejected by the judge. If Lybeck can get the judge to accept this one, it will begin what Andersen hopes to be a long-range investigation into the tactics the RIAA uses to thwart their P2P nemesis. (5 May 2008)
Related glossary terms
Related software tools
eDonkey2000 Windows GUI Client (Freeware)
eDonkey2000 is a new peer-to-peer file sharing application that combines the good features from both Napster and Gnutella.
A Kazaa uninstaller which scans and removes all elements of all Kazaa versions, as well as all of the bundled software that comes with it.
LimeWire Basic (Freeware)
LimeWire is a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) application that gives you the ability to share files with other users over the internet.
Shareaza (Open source)
Shareaza is a free (and doesn't have ads/spyware either) P2P client that connects to multiple P2P networks, including BitTorrent, Gnutella and eDonkey networks.