RIAA Lobbying Expenses Cross $650,000 During First Half

The RIAA spent $658,000 on lobbying efforts during the first half of 2007, according to public documents unearthed by the Associated Press.

The expenses covered opinion-swaying efforts related to copyright protection and funding for enforcement campaigns, among other issues.  The documents were released Friday by the Senate public records office in compliance with various disclosure laws.

The lobbying bill offers a small glimpse into the overall RIAA budget, a cost structure that also includes legal and administrative costs related to file-sharing lawsuits.  For member labels Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and EMI Group Plc, those costs are becoming increasingly noticeable, thanks to continued earnings slides this year.  Meanwhile, the lobbying efforts also include issues outside of piracy, including performance royalty requirements (or lack thereof) for terrestrial radio broadcasters.