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Friday, December 23, 2005
RIAA Lauds Senate Passage Of Measure To Stop Russian Intellectual Property Theft

Early morning of Dec 22, 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a very important resolution stressing that the Russian Federation must provide effective protection of intellectual property rights.

Otherwise, it risks not being accepted into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and losing its eligibility to participate in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

The same resolution, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on November 16, 2005, is intended to help ensure that the Russian Federation adopts and enforces aggressive laws, policies and practices against intellectual property piracy. In response, the Recording Industry Association of America issued the following statement from Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol.]

?With the passage of this resolution in the Senate, the entire U.S. Congress has made clear that the Russian government must significantly step up the fight against piracy as a condition for both its acceptance into the WTO and for receiving preferential trade benefits from the United States.

?The U.S.-Russia relationship must be built upon a mutual understanding of shared obligations and the application of the rule of law. The effective protection of American intellectual property has been sorely lacking in Russia. This resolution is significant because it expresses the will of the U.S. Congress that Russia must take effective action against those who would steal America?s knowledge-intensive intellectual property-based goods and services. We must not enter into political arrangements with countries ill-prepared to adequately protect our greatest economic assets.

?We are especially grateful for the leadership and steadfast commitment to the protection of intellectual property demonstrated by Senators Lugar, Biden, Hatch, Leahy, Grassley and Baucus on this issue of critical importance to our industry. We look forward to working with the U.S. and Russian governments in the coming weeks and months to achieve the progress that is so desperately needed.?

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