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Digital ‘Not Just Our Future, It Is Our Present’ Says RIAA

ipod_people_blueThe Recording Industry Association of America () touted the ’ digital transformation and music’s central role in culture and commerce in its remarks to the Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) regarding the Department’s Green Paper, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and in the Digital Economy.”

Noting that the music business is now primarily a digital business that derives approximately 60 percent of its revenues from a wide array of digital sources, riaa offered several examples of how music drives innovation and products:

* Music is driving developments at major technology companies: In the past few years, technology companies from Google to Apple to Amazon, as well as a variety of startups announced and funded the development of new music delivery services.

* Music has driven adoption of smartphones and tablets: Virtually every smartphone or tablet manufacturer includes music player capability within the device, and has marketed at least one of its devices by, among other things, touting the device’s music capabilities.

* In-car music enhancements have driven the sale of cars: Luxury cars are marketing themselves based on the enhanced experience in the car, and now more than 100 vehicle models have digital radio in the dashboard.

While also providing examples of how music is at the center of social (emphasis added):

* Facebook: 37 of the top 50 pages (74%) of any genre on Facebook are for creative content (music, books, movies/TV) or creators of creative content and 9 of the celebrities on Facebook are sound recording artists. Music is also driving the creation of new apps and digital methodologies on FaceBook.

* Twitter: 39 of the top 50 profiles (78%) on Twitter are for actors or sound recording artists and 9 of the top 10 celebrities on Twitter are sound recording artists.

* YouTube: 28 of the top 30 most viewed videos (93%) on YouTube are official videos for sound recordings owned or distributed by the major record labels.

The organization endorsed voluntary collaborations with Internet intermediaries to address many of the piracy issues raised by the Green Paper, but noted the lack of any kind of voluntary initiative with search engines as a main reason behind problems such as the ineffectiveness of the current notice and takedown provision of the DMCA. This comes as the organization recently hit a significant milestone in the number of requests for URL takedowns to Google.

“We continue to find Katy Perry’s song ‘Roar’ on mp3skull.com among the first Google search results for ‘Katy Perry Roar Mp3’ after we have sent well over 300 notices about the recording to mp3skull.com and to Google,” reads RIAA’s filing. “In fact, we have sent over 35 million copyright removal requests to Google concerning roughly 200 rogue sites, and yet some of the top noticed sites continue to show up on the first page of search results. Locking both creators and intermediaries into an old, ineffective system squelches innovation and stunts the growth of new Internet services that consumers demand, while also limiting the ability to properly address the potential that the current system may inadvertently incentivize.”

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