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Anti-Piracy Org Splits From RIAA

Artist rights organization Artists Against Piracy has severed ties to its primary financial supporter, the Recording Industry Association of America. The split stems largely from Artists Against Piracy’s broader agenda.

The organization plans to go beyond the scope of educating the public and representing artists on digital copyright piracy issues and take on broader artist rights issues vis-a-vis the record labels.

“Artists Against Piracy is about protecting the artists’ rights in a digital space, but some of these rights are in conflict with the record industry,” said Noah Stone, executive director of Artists Against Piracy, which has had support from such acts as Alanis Morissette, Christina Aguilera, Dwight Yoakam and Barenaked Ladies. “The law right now favors the labels over the artists in terms of digital performance rights.”

Of significant importance to Artists Against Piracy is protecting artist rights in digital music licensing. The major record labels – Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music Group, BMG Entertainment and Universal Music Group – are developing interactive music services and licensing their catalogs to online companies, but artist compensation for these ventures remains a gray area.

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