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The RIAA submits a 2022 lobbying disclosure report to raise ‘artificial intelligence’ as a ‘specific lobbying issue’ with the United States government.

The RIAA, representing the Big Three (Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment), has recently reported several AI-music mixing platforms to the United States Trade Representative. The goal is to have them listed as upcoming threats in the USTR’s “Notorious Markets” report. Additionally, a 2022 lobbying disclosure report shows that RIAA lobbyists have raised AI as a “specific lobbying issue” with the US government.

The RIAA is a member of the Copyright Alliance, which lobbies the government on behalf of its members and recently expressed concerns that AI-generated works collide with copyright law. A GoFundMe campaign launched by the Concept Art Association has surfaced intending to raise funds to pay a lobbyist to “educate government officials and policymakers” on the threat to the creative industries that is AI-generated artwork. The Concept Art Association has said a portion of the funds will also go to the Copyright Alliance. 

Other issues raised in the RIAA’s report included those in the Notorious Markets report, intellectual property theft in general, enforcement of IP law, DMCA-related issues, and proposals related to content filtering.

Between January and September last year, the RIAA appeared in 15 government lobbying reports with a total declared lobbying expenditure (covered by its associates) of nearly $5.4 million. The RIAA has not spent more on lobbying since 2018.

Similarly, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) lobbied on 22 separate issues between January and September, with reports featuring copyright, patent, trademark, trade, defense, and emergency planning issues. Specific lobbying issues included illicit streaming devices, technological protection measures (content filtering), the right to repair, content protection, and internet-related content. 

The MPA’s lobbying expenditure was roughly half of the RIAA’s, with $2.57 million. The MPA and RIAA spent nearly $8 million combined on lobbying in 2022, with copyright and piracy at the top of the agenda.