updated 11:30 am EST, Mon March 2, 2009
RIAA staff cuts deepen
The recent budget cuts that have the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) cutting its staff are more pronounced than initially expected, says a Friday Hypebot report. Due to an increased number of people purchasing digital songs online, the RIAA's role of suing individuals for illegal file sharing is reduced, with the music labels that fund the organization cutting the budget significantly.
The source says more than 100 people employed at RIAA in the US and across the world will be relieved of duty, calling it a "bloodbath." Employees who specialize in anti-piracy will be let go, while the IFPI and BPI offices will be coordinated. EMI and Universal chiefs Guy Hands and Doug Morris, both major sponsors of the RIAA, are named as largely responsible for the cuts, disclosed after proposed ISP monitoring has fallen through in the US.
The DC-based offices will be closed, with one part of the floor retained just to save the company's address. The unnamed source maintains an official announcement regarding the budget cuts by RIAA is expected to be made by early next week.
What will remain to help music labels fight piracy, the source says, is an aggregate of London-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the leftovers of Britain's BPI (once known as the British Phonographic Industry) and the RIAA.