What is AARC?

The Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, Inc. (AARC) is the leading organization representing featured recording artists and sound recording copyright owners, both domestically and abroad, in the areas of hometaping/private copy royalties and rental royalties. AARC, a nonprofit organization, was formed to collect and distribute Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA) royalties to featured recording artists and sound recording copyright owners (usually record companies.) However, based on its success in administering the AHRA royalties, AARC’s mandate was expanded to include foreign hometaping/private copy and rental royalties.

AHRA royalties are generated by the sales of blank CDs and personal audio devices, media centers, satellite radio devices, and car audio systems that have recording capabilities.  AARC is the sole administrator of this royalty in the US to featured recording artists and sound recording copyright owners.

Prior to 1992, private copying was illegal.  Although illegal, private copying did occur to the detriment of copyright holders and without compensation.   From as early as 1965, many other countries included provisions in their copyright laws that authorized private copying with a requirement for payment of royalties to copyright holders. Passage of AHRA added the US to the list of countries guaranteeing copyright holders compensation for private copying.

Foreign Hometaping Royalties
Many countries have hometaping (usually referred to as “private copying”) laws. As in the case of AHRA, these laws include royalty rights for recording artists and record companies. Each country’s laws include unique requirements and processes for collection and distribution of the royalties. The collectives also have their own processes and requirements regarding data, tax and other information, which can be overwhelming for an individual claimant. AARC ensures that all the requirements are satisfied and that the processes are properly followed with regard to each and every one of our members.

Following the successful administration of AHRA royalties in the United States, AARC moved toward the administration of foreign hometaping royalties. AARC has negotiated hometaping agreements with the following foreign collectives:

Reciprocal Featured Recording Artists Hometaping Agreements
Croatia’s HUZIP
Denmark’s GRAMEX
Estonia’s EEL
France’s ADAMI
Germany’s GVL
Greece’s APOLLON
Hungary’s EJI
Ireland’s RAAP
Japan’s CPRA
Latvia’s LaIPA
Netherlands’s SENA
Portugal’s GDA
Russia’s RUR
Spain’s AIE
Sweden’s SAMI
Switzerland’s SWISSPERFORM
United Kingdom’s PPL

Reciprocal Indies Label Hometaping Agreements
Japan’s RIAJ
Netherlands’ NVPI
Sweden’s IFPI
United Kingdom’s PPL

AARC also administers foreign rental/lending royalties for its artist members. It has rental/lending agreements with the following foreign collectives:

Foreign Rental/Lending Royalties
Japan’s CPRA
Netherlands’ NORMA

Formation of AARC follows the pattern established in all other countries where hometaping royalties are collectively administered, such as the countries mentioned above. In these countries, the music community has chosen to work together to establish simple, efficient and cost-effective means for distributing collected royalties.

AARC is currently in negotiations with many other countries with the goal of finalizing hometaping and rental agreements that protect our members and ensure that they are compensated for the use of their works.

Overseen by a board of thirteen (13) artist representatives and thirteen (13) record company representatives, AARC provides equal representation to the artist community and recording industry, looking after their mutual interests. AARC currently represents over 500,000 featured recording artists, sound recording copyright owners, and record companies.  AARC is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, just minutes from downtown Washington, DC.

In summary, AARC provides the following services to its members
Represents members in all proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board, Copyright Office, any other US agencies or courts in connection with AHRA royalties; and foreign collectives and government entities, including filing of claims, negotiating settlements, filing of legal papers, and fully prosecuting claims in administrative trials or other procedures worldwide;

• Minimizes legal and administrative costs, and expedites payment of royalties by settling US proceedings;
• Reduces claimants’ costs through centralized, common royalties’ administration and data collection;
• Uses fair and accurate data and procedures to allocate royalties;
• Provides detailed reports summarizing the titles, featured artists, labels and royalty amounts for each sound recording earning royalties.
• Ensures that members are part of an organization that looks after the long-term private copying, rental/lending interests of featured recording artists and sound recording copyright owners.

AARC’s acceptance of any payments under the Audio Home Recording Act (“AHRA”) and/or its implementing regulations does not in any way express or imply AARC’s acknowledgment that such payments are required or sufficient, or that the device or medium at issue is subject to the AHRA or that it meets any of the AHRA’s definitions or requirements. Notwithstanding AARC’s acceptance of any such payments, AARC, its members and other copyright owners reserve all rights to take enforcement action against any entity that is not in compliance with the AHRA or that is violating any provision of law, including but not limited to any of the exclusive rights provided in Section 106 of the Copyright Act.