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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade association that represents, promotes and lobbies on behalf of the U.S. recording industry. RIAA members manufacture and distribute nearly 85 percent of the sound recordings released and sold by major record companies in the United States.
The RIAA was formed in 1952 and is based in the nation's capitol - Washington, D.C.
The RIAA made music industry history in 1999, when it sued Napster. In 2002, a San Francisco appeals court and federal judge found Napster liable for vicarious or contributory copyright violations through its free music download service.
In 2012, the RIAA's budget was cut by nearly 50 percent, with a 40 percent staff reduction.
The RIAA's international counterpart is the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).