Read: RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol's Farewell Letter to Music Execs
Read: RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol's Farewell Letter to Music Execs

Details from the RIAA's 2009 tax return has drawn criticism in the blogosphere yet again.

The RIAA took in $33.7 million in membership dues and also collected $417,000 in ISRC revenue, $395,000 in certification program and $335,000 in anti-piracy restitution. The organization took in revenue of $51.8 million in 2008 and $57.2 million in 2007 - most from membership dues. But there appears to be little uproar over the amount of money paid to the non-profit organization.

What typically raises eyebrows is the RIAA's payments to its executives in a time of falling U.S. recorded music revenues. In 2009, compensation for current officers totaled $5.39 million, up slightly from the $5.1 million paid out the prior year. Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol's 2009 total compensation was $1.61 million, which includes a base salary of $1.095 million and a $385,000 bonus. He earned a total of $2.03 million in 2008.

President Cary Sherman's 2009 total compensation was $3.19 million, which includes a base salary of $743,000, a $200,000 bonus and "other reportable compensation" of $2.22 million. He earned a total of $1.33 million in 2008.

"With regards to Cary, his reported total compensation for 2009 includes deferred compensation from previous years' work at the RIAA," RIAA spokesperson Cara Duckworth explained to Billboard.biz. "That compensation was already reported as being paid to him in our earlier filings."

The next three executives by compensation were: executive vice president Neil Turkewitz ($685,000); senior vice president, public policy and industry relations Mitch Glazier ($574,000); and executive vice president and general counsel Steve Marks ($571,000).

While the RIAA executives are certainly well paid, their salaries are generally comparable with those of other Washington D.C. trade groups. As I wrote when this issue flared up last summer, Daniel Glickman, the chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, made $1.36 million in 2008. Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association made $1.77 million in 2008. David Rehr, then the president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, was paid $797,000 in 2008 (he left in 2009).

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