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British Phonographic Industry
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is the British record industry's trade association. Its membership comprises hundreds of music companies including all four 'major' record companies (Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony BMG, and Universal Music Group), associate members such as manufacturers and distributors, and hundreds of independent music companies representing literally thousands of labels. It has represented the interests of British record companies since being formally incorporated in 1973 when the principal aim was to fight copyright infringement.
The British Phonographic Industry awards certificates for music releases in Britain. The level of the award varies depending on the format of the release and the amount sold. BPI certificates are not automatic; the record company must pay a fee to the BPI and they carry out an audit into the release in question. Certificates are usually awarded on the basis of the amount of units the release has shipped, rather than the amount it has sold.