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IT’S OFFICIAL: DAVID ALTSCHUL
IS RIAA’S RAC NEGOTIATOR
Veteran Exec Reps RIAA;
Rosen Uses the "C" Word
As the RIAA and the RAC continue to face off on the issue of amending California’s seven-year statute, RIAA head Hilary Rosen has sent a letter to RAC’s principals confirming that former Warner Bros. Exec VP David Altschul is indeed empowered to negotiate on RIAA member labels’ behalf.

The letter, sent today, gives official notice to RAC that the veteran record executive is the labels’ designated negotiator for the purpose of attempting to reach a compromise with RAC. According to the letter, Altschul will continue to deal primarily with RAC attorneys Jay Cooper and John Branca.

The two sides will continue to discuss Senate Bill 1246, introduced by California Senator Kevin Murray, which seeks to eliminate the so-called music-industry exemption to the seven-year rule that currently allows labels to sue for damages if an artist walks out on a contract after seven years—the maximum length of personal-service contracts in California.

"David has our authority to explore a full range of options in his discussion," Rosen writes, noting that any final position must still be approved by the member companies in order for it to be binding. "We have also agreed that a meeting of principals might be appropriate when progress is made," she continues. "By cc'ing the decision makers at my major member companies, you can take comfort in their agreement with this commitment."

Rosen further extends an olive branch of sorts in closing, stating, "We very much hope that we can work together to develop an acceptable compromise." Just what that compromise might be, given RAC’s position that the damages clause is unfair and must be eliminated, remains to be seen.

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