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EMI forces IFPI merger discussions - report

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Prepare to peel off your bumper stickers - the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) may disappear in a merger of trade groups, Variety reports.

According to the Hollywood trade paper, EMI has formally filed to leave the global trade body that represents sound recording owners, the IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry), by 31 March. The IFPI has 1,400 members in 75 countries.

Reports last November suggested that EMI's new owner, Terra Firma, had balked at the membership fees paid to the IFPI.

This has prompted a discussion between the four major labels on how to get the best value for money. The Big Four are "seeking changes in the structure and priorities of major trade orgs, including the Recording Industry Assn. of America."

"The idea of merging the IFPI and RIAA has been broached as well."

But be careful what you wish for, Freetards.

IFPI executives, mindful of regional differences, have shown themselves to be far more honest, practical and forward-thinking than some of their peers in recent months.

At a MusicTank event last summer, an IFPI representative said there was no upside to enforcement against P2P file sharing from increased sales of legal digital music. At In The City in October, chairman John Kennedy said he'd welcome the revenue from legalising P2P networks.

These views aren't reflected in the public pronouncements or policies of the national trade groups, such as the RIAA or the BPI.

But one question remains, however, should a merger proceed: what should the new body be called? Suggestions welcome: so show us your Ass., please. ®

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