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EMI may scale back RIAA funding

updated 11:40 am EST, Thu November 29, 2007

EMI Scaling Back RIAA

Music label EMI could weaken the anti-piracy campaigns of both the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the near future by reducing its financial help with both organizations, claims an anonymous insider speaking to Reuters. A recent acquisition of EMI by the private equity firm Terra Firma is known to have triggered a financial review that would reduce the millions of dollars that the label supplies to both groups.

The pullback of resources is alleged to be a cost-cutting measure for EMI, which like other major labels is suffering from dropping CD sales without a large-enough rise in online purchases to make up the difference. Regardless, it also reduces the overall funding for both the IFPI and RIAA and may coincidentally distance EMI from their controversial legal campaigns against piracy. Both are known to lobby governments for stricter copyright laws and have in some cases filed lawsuits against normally sympathetic targets.

Tbe RIAA in particular has earned a negative reputation for suing individual file sharers for damages believed to be well in excess of what was actually lost. Critics have also observed that many of these complaints are based on circumstantial evidence that pinpoints only the owner of an Internet connection rather than an individual.

In contrast, EMI has recently been regarded as an unintentional champion of consumer rights in 2007 by becoming the first of the four major music producers to offer DRM-free music across its entire catalog as a test of the concept, in recent months lowering the price to match that of previously copy-protected songs after it found many users preferring the unrestricted format.

None of the organizations involved has been willing to comment on the seeming leak, though the IFPI admits that its annual budget will involve cost-cutting "as one would expect in this market," pointing to difficult business for the group irrespective of EMI's involvement.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    What can you expect

    when organizations like the RIAA are throwing money down the hole with little to no appreciable results. I know it's debated hotly in forums and the like, but we should all know by now that the whole structure of music sales is changing.

    Hopefully this can lead to more services like TuneCore that allow artists to distribute their work via online stores without labels.

  1. chulitomio

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2004

    0

    No Change

    They haven't suddenly acquired a soul and conscience. They're loosing money and they're looking for a way to stop doing so.

  1. jimothy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    "Unintentional champion"

    EMI could, for all we know, be an *intentional* champion of consumer rights. I know it sounds absurd, but they could actually have recognized that by treating their paying customers with respect, they might actually get more paying customers.

  1. Terrin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    One born every minute

    LOL.

    You wrote, ""unintentional champion" EMI could, for all we know, be an *intentional* champion of consumer rights. I know it sounds absurd, but they could actually have recognized that by treating their paying customers with respect, they might actually get more paying customers."

  1. jimothy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    Sucker

    Yes, Terrin, it actually is possible that a business could learn from their mistakes and take action to correct it. Perhaps "champion of consumer rights" is a bit generous, but it certainly does look like a reversal from the treat-our-customers-like-criminals mentality that has plagued the industry.

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