Rosen to Resign From RIAA

Hilary Rosen, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), said Wednesday she will resign at the end of the year from the powerful music trade organization that has led the contentious legal battle against file-swapping services. Rosen said she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Rosen, who has been with RIAA for 17 years, serves as the recording industry’s chief advocate and has been a lightening rod for criticism during a time of unprecedented change in the music business. Wired magazine recently voted Rosen as “The Most Hated Name in Music” for her role in organizing the legal efforts that have led courts to order the shutdown of Napster.

The RIAA under Rosen has been adamant in its fight against online piracy. In addition to its landmark victory over Napster, the organization has been relentless in pursuing other file-swapping services such as Kazaa and Madster. Earlier this week, the RIAA scored another significant legal victory when a Washington, D.C. district court ordered Verizon to comply a subpoena demanding the name of a subscriber who, according to the RIAA, has downloaded large amounts of copyrighted songs.

“During my tenure here, the recording industry has undergone dramatic challenges and it is well positioned for future success. I have been extremely proud to be a part of this industry transition,” Rosen said in an RIAA statement. “But, I have young children and I want to devote more of my time to them. This has been an extremely difficult decision but I know it is the right one for my family.”

That said, she continued her drumbeat against online piracy.

“This is a critical time and I have much to do in the coming months. We continue to face unprecedented levels of on-line piracy as well as a changing market in physical piracy here and abroad,” she said. “RIAA has much to do to address these issues as well as help the companies transition the music consumer to the exciting offerings everyone has been working so hard to deliver in the legitimate on-line music business.”

According to the RIAA, its board will conduct a serve for Rosen’s replacement over the next few months. Cary Sherman, president of the music trade group, will serve on the search committee.

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