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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture, and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States".[1] The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.[2][3]

The RIAA was formed in 1952.[4] Its original mission was to administer recording copyright fees and problems, work with trade unions, and do research relating to the record industry and government regulations.[5] Early RIAA standards included the RIAA equalization curve,[6] the format of the stereophonic record groove and the dimensions of 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm records.[7]

The RIAA says its current mission includes:[1]

  1. to protect intellectual property rights and the First Amendment rights of artists
  2. to perform research about the music industry
  3. to monitor and review relevant laws, regulations, and policies

Since 2001, the RIAA has spent upwards of $6 million annually on lobbying in the United States.[8] The RIAA also participates in the collective rights management of sound recordings, and it is responsible for certifying gold and platinum albums and singles in the United States.