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Thoughts on Recent EMI Music Industry News: Emi No Longer Backing RIAA
As you may have heard, recent reports indicate that music conglomerate EMI is pulling back its funding for the somewhat controversial RIAA and similar organizations. This is old news of course, being reported way back on November 29th, but perhaps you missed it if you only glance through the media's often uninteresting music related news like I do. I did catch it when first reported, but I've been trying to let my opinions settle as to what these actions actually mean.
First, this is good news as EMI is to cut funding to the RIAA and other related groups down from the reported $130 million they supposedly contribute now. Depending on the amount of the cut, that could be a massive amount of funding that the RIAA will no longer be able to use towards suing 12 year olds, the elderly and the rest of the music loving community for thousands of dollars. At the same time though, still backed by Sony, Time-Warner and Universal, it does beg the question of how much of an impact this move actually will have on the RIAA''s efforts.
EMI seems to be the one out of those big four that actually is beginning to realize that old tactics are not the best approach and were actually alienating customers resulting in quite a backlash. This move to stop such massive support for these organizations might seem like a bold move, but I think it's actually more reactionary than anything else. After years of watching public and media outcry against the RIAA's ridiculously botched prosecutions, it's no wonder that any organization directly associated with them has gotten a bit of a negative mark on their reputation as well. EMI has picked up on this and is perhaps hoping that by publicly announcing their funding cut, they might help improve their public image a little bit... a good move after their peace offering towards the music community of DRM free mp3 downloads. Had they made such a break years ago, or perhaps directly after some of the bad moves the RIAA made, then I think I would consider EMI's move more important, but right now, the music industry is shifting so much that they seem significantly behind the times.
In terms of the effect this funding cut will have on the RIAA and it's kin, I actually think that the music industry's itself will have more of an impact than any funding cut. With more bands releasing music independently online (My Bloddy Valentine is a recent one that comes to mind), I think these labels might be looking at their role in the wrong way and that it'll take a shift in thinking towards more artist central ideas for them to really save themselves.
Only time will tell though. You can interpret this news as you like, or read some of the thousands of other opinions about it that were posted on the web. These are only a few of mine. If anything, this news is certainly worth discussing as it is an intriguing sign of perhaps where the industry will go next.