The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a group which represents the recording industry distributors in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA say "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States".
The RIAA was formed in 1952 primarily to administer the RIAA equalization curve, a technical standard of frequency response applied to vinyl records during manufacturing and playback. The RIAA has continued to participate in creating and administering technical standards for later systems of music recording and reproduction, including magnetic tape (including cassette tapes and digital audio tapes), CDs and software-based digital technologies.
The RIAA participates in the collection, administration and distribution of music licenses and royalties. The association is also responsible for certifying gold and platinum albums and singles in the USA.
The RIAA lists its goals as:
1. to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists;
2. to perform research about the music industry;
3. to monitor and review relevant laws, regulations and policies.