EMI To Cut Funding To RIAA And Other Trade Groups?

Ever wonder why the big labels waste money funding trade groups like the RIAA? EMI, the British record company that was recently taken over by a private equity firm does, and a unnamed source tells Reuters that the new investors are thinking of cutting funding to the RIAA and other, similar trade groups.

The groups, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other national associations, represent music companies and the fight against illegal piracy.

They receive funding from the four major music groups — EMI, Warner (WMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Sony BMG and Universal — and hundreds of small independent labels.

The IFPI said it believed the four majors give approximately 64 million pounds ($132.1 million) each year to itself, the RIAA and many other national associations.

Absolutely no one was available for comment, so this could just be a rumor. If EMI were to cut funding, however, the RIAA’s seemingly bottomless pool of lawyers would get a wee bit shallower.

EMI wants to cut funding to trade groups -source


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  1. lincolnparadox says:

    Wait for it: “RIAA sues EMI for illegal downloading.”

  2. This is really good news, the facade is crumbling

  3. Trai_Dep says:

    Whoa. You’ve got to be some kind of evil scum for record producers to say, “You’re too slimy for the likes of us to be associated with you.”

  4. dirtymoney says:

    Maybe they are finally realizing that the RIAA isnt having much of an effect on illegal downloading by suing 8 year olds.

  5. Ikki says:

    Before anyone else says it…

    Fuck the RIAA.

  6. overbysara says:


  7. BigNutty says:

    I can hardly wait till the money tree dies.

  8. bohemian says:

    If you look at the bigger picture the RIAA has really not done anything to stop piracy. They have harassed and caused trouble for a few people and that really is about it. They have not drastically changed behavior or even made a large dent into downloading. At the same time artists are looking at other ways to get get music to people, sell songs and make more income.

    ASCAP (and BMI) is another bottom feeder. They have people roaming small local bars trying to force them to pay $10,000 joining fees to join ASCAP. They are harassing owners for playing music in the bar or local bands doing cover tunes and want the owners to pay royalties. On the other hand some of these local bands (playing in the same bars) have their own tunes covered under these agencies and never see a dime of royalties.
    ASCAP was trying to shake down a little corner dive in town that has maybe 24 seats because they have a stereo.

  9. louisb3 says:

    Anybody know what the RIAA’s total funding is? Without a sense of how big the EMI’s $132 mil is relative to that, the rumor’s pretty useless.

  10. ianmac47 says:

    I’m still at a loss to understand how the RIAA operates without running afoul of anti-trust laws.

  11. ViolentAcres says:

    @bohemian: Well, to be fair, they don’t really have much choice. ASCAP and the like are merely parasites, desperately seeking new hosts from whom they may suck sustenance. They can’t “change” any more than a tick can.

  12. vladthepaler says:

    The RIAA has built up a huge amount of bad press for itself over the years, and is widely recognized and hated by consumers. Based on that alone, it seems like a good business move for a company to distance itself from the RIAA.

  13. boreddusty says:

    @vladthepaler: Exactly. EMI and their ilk would be saving money and saving face if the rumor turns out to be true.

  14. Andy S. says:

    @bohemian: Unfortunately, ASCAP and BMI are the only reason that artists are allowed to perform covers in a live venue (unless the entire event is free). Legally, one can perform or record a cover as long as they receive no compensation for it. For instance, I can record my performance of a cover of a song, and I can give that recording (or copies of the recording) to people for free, and that’s legal. If, however, I sell the recordings, that’s illegal, unless I’ve already struck some sort of deal with whomever holds the rights to the original song.

    While BMI and ASCAP may be sleazy opportunists in much the same way as the RIAA, they are still providing a service of sorts… even if you discount the claim that BMI and ASCAP give a cut of their fees to the artists, you are still left with the fact that, if it weren’t for them, performers (and not venues) would be left holding the legal responsibility for obtaining permission to perform covers. And really, how many bands truly have the knowledge or time to locate and contact the rights holder of each song they want to perform? Beyond that, how many bands have the spare money to pay whatever fee the rights holder might request in exchange for permission to perform a given song?

    I hate the fact that ASCAP and BMI have a business model that is so very parasitic in nature, but until intellectual property law is reformed in such a way that live performance of a work without express consent of the rights holder is otherwise legal, these two organizations are a necessary evil.

  15. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:


    For starters, they don’t actually sell anything. Even if they did, their are successful record labels that aren’t part of the RIAA (Subpop, Barsuk, whatever labels Prince & Radiohead are on now).

  16. miburo says:

    Oh Man, if i remember correctly they were the first major to release DRM free songs too. EMI seems to be one of the first majors that actually is starting to “get it”

    I’ll be looking out for more EMI artist to purchase just because of this.

  17. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:


    I woudn’t get too excited. Even if they do decide to cut funding to the RIAA, they’ll probably just take that money & use it to research better (worse) forms of DRM.

  18. KJones says:

    DRM is dead and the Profit Recording industry knows it.


    “Voodoo economics” applies to music: if you stop treating customers like criminals and charge less, they’ll buy more legally, and profits will increase.

    Unfortunately, the bastards at the record companies are too used to having a cash cow they can milk as often as they wanted to in the past.

  19. Valhawk says:

    Huzzah!!! Maybe they realized the tremendous amounts of bad press and the potential for longterm legal grief are not worth the zero results RIAA has provided.