Dear Members and Friends:
Hello! My name is Linda Bocchi, Executive Director of the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC), your worldwide leader in hometaping, rental and lending music royalties management.
As you know, AARC is the only U.S. music royalty collective representing featured performers and sound recording copyright owners – both Majors and Indies – worldwide in the area of hometaping/private copying. In the U.S., hometaping is authorized under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA). As part of our mandate, AARC collects and distributes U.S. and foreign hometaping royalties, generated in the U.S. by the sales of blank media (CDs and DATs) and recording devices (personal audio recording devices, media centers, satellite radio recording devices, and car audio systems with recording capabilities).
For two decades, AARC has successfully protected and defended the worldwide hometaping, rental and lending royalties rights of our 200,000+ featured recording artist and Indie Members. In 1993, shortly after the passage of the Audio Home Recording Act, AARC’s first distribution totaled a mere $100,000 in US royalties for our first 1120 members. Our twentieth distribution, issued in December 2012, totaled nearly $5.5 million in domestic and foreign royalties for our 200,000 worldwide members.
In 1997, AARC achieved a tremendous milestone by negotiating a landmark agreement with Geidankyo (now named CPRA-GEIDANKYO) of Japan to administer rental royalties to our featured recording artist members. AARC was the first collective in the world to negotiate a private copying agreement with Japan. This partnership with Japan opened the international door and paved the way for agreements with Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK. The first Indies agreement was negotiated with the Netherlands in 2004.
To ensure that AARC’s members’ interests are adequately represented worldwide, AARC maintains a high profile abroad. In addition to its international negotiations, AARC is a member of The Societies’ Council for the Collective Management of Performers’ Rights (“SCAPR”), which is the organization that works to protect the rights of artists through a network of performers’ rights collective management organizations around the world. I serve on SCAPR’s Legal Working and Royalty Administration Working Groups to ensure that AARC’s members’ rights are protected worldwide.
AARC’s international efforts have paid off by knocking down the barriers that for years prevented our featured performers and Indies from receiving the compensation they deserve for the exploitation of their works via hometaping/private copying, rental and lending worldwide. In 2012 alone, AARC reached another milestone by finalizing a record 7 new agreements. Among these seven are recording artist agreements with Nuovo-IMAIE of Italy and SAWP of Poland. AARC has been in negotiations with both organizations for over a decade and we are very excited to have reached these agreements. In addition to Italy and Poland, AARC finalized recording artist agreements with Albania, Georgia, and Romania. I am also very proud to announce 2 new Indie agreements with collectives in France and Spain.
During the annual board meeting, I was touched and honored to be recognized by the AARC Board for my 20 years of service with this great organization. It has been a privilege to spend the majority of my career fighting for your rights, and I am looking forward to what the next twenty-years will bring.
AARC is extremely proud of all of that we have accomplished over the last two decades. We have been able to fight for and defend your rights with limited resources and staff. I am proud of what AARC’s dedicated team of four, along with the support of the Board, have been able to accomplish at home and abroad.
In short, great things are happening at AARC, and it would not be possible without your support and membership. We hope to work with, and for you, for many decades to come. We will continue to fight the good fight for you, our valued Members.
We are here to represent you! If you’ve been contacted by an organization other than AARC with regard to your worldwide hometaping/private copying, rental and lending royalty rights, please contact us to confirm your membership with AARC – your collective.
Linda R. Bocchi, Esq.