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Hilary Rosen

From Academic Kids

Hilary B. Rosen was the chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America from 1998 to 2003.

Under Rosen, the RIAA advanced a legal and PR campaign to limit the swapping of copyrighted music, a practice whose popularity increased dramatically with improved personal computer multimedia capabilites and expanded broadband Internet access. During her tenure, the RIAA and similar lobbying groups achieved many legal victories in the United States, including:

Rosen also lauched initiatives to encourage industry-wide standards of new digital copyright protection technologies, including copy protected CDs and a number of digital rights management-enabled media formats for personal computers. Copy protected CDs have not been popular with consumers because they cannot be played in most car CD players or on PCs, and only a few pilot titles were ever distributed with the technology. DRM enabled media formats, which include cryptographic mechanisms to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution, proved similarly unpopular with consumers, who evidently prefer the competing unprotected formats.

Despite the RIAA's aggressive tactics, online file-swapping has continued to grow. Industry critics, including those within the Association, have begun to question the effectiveness of the campaign. Indeed, many believe that the RIAA's activities under Rosen's leadership alienated consumers and some popular artists from the very music industry the RIAA is supposed to protect.

On January 22, 2003, Rosen announced that she will resign as head of the RIAA at the end of 2003, officially in order to spend more time with her partner, Elizabeth Birch, and the couple's twin daughters. However, many media reports of Rosen's resignation indicated that RIAA member executives had become increasingly dissatisfied with Rosen's tactics and her inability to rein in mp3 sharing online.

On November 30, 2004, Rosen became the interim director for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading GLBT lobbyist organization, following the ouster of Cheryl Jacques. Hilary's partner, Elizabeth, was the executive director of HRC for eight years prior to Jacques' assumption of the post. Since May 2005 she's been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.

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