What Is The RIAA
RIAA stands for the Recording Industry Association of America. The association is a consortium of multiple large companies that manage the recording and music distribution all across the United States of America. More than 90% of the music recording companies and distributors are part of the consortium called RIAA. Gone are the days of 1950’s, when RIAA primarily focused on maintaining the quality of music. Today the association is primarily into copyright protection.
The shift in focus has happened as a result of frequent unauthorized and illegal copy or download of music that has copy right restriction to it. The campaign is currently run under Mitch Bainwol. Napster, an online music file sharing service was available in 1990’s and people freely downloaded any kind of music with it. They never paid for the music and would download, burn, and share music with friends. The issue to maintain the copyright became more and more severe as the computer technology advanced.
RIAA was left with no choice but to ban the online music sharing services such as Napster. The laws were therefore setup to prevent such practice of music download. It was in the early 2000 that strict laws were put into place, restricting people from illegal download or even purchasing pirated CD’s. RIAA specifically target the youth to prevent them from downloading copyright protected music.
RIAA is doing its best to protect the copyright protected music from misuse, but not every one validates the initiative taken by RIAA. Critics have raised many eyebrows claiming that more CDs were sold in the times when online services such as Napster existed. Questions are therefore raised about RIAA’s aim to help the artists and recording studios. Many have also blamed RIAA for ripping off artists, who are paid very little compensation for the sale of CDs while earning huge profit margins themselves.
Many critics have also blamed RIAA for its lawsuits against innocent people. A lawsuit enacted against an old woman ageing nearly 83, one against a kid ageing around 12, and another one against a women in her 60’s who hardly could use the computer, have been heavily criticized. The protests against such lawsuits and a lot more have damaged the credibility of RIAA to a huge extend.
In the year 2003, RIAA came up with a law wherein no action would be taken against the people who had committed illegal downloads in past. No action was to be taken against such people if they committed to not dong it ever again. The law was welcomed by many. However, the law was deprecated in a year’s time.
There are mixed feelings that people have about RIAA. While many curse it, others appreciate it for its efforts. It is all about an opinion that one comes up with, but the bottom line is that RIAA has achieved considerable success in recent past.
Apart from copyright protection, RIAA also manages the sales and tracks them. Depending on the number of CDs sold, the records are labeled as “Gold” or “Platinum” by RIAA. On the whole, RIAA has been responsible for maintaining clean and good business in the music industry.