Does EMI no longer believe in suing its customers?

Reuters is reporting that EMI, one of the world's four big music-label groups, wants to cut its funding to industry lobby groups, including the RIAA and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. EMI's "looking at ways to 'substantially' reduce the amount it pays trade groups," as a source puts it to the wire service. This is exactly the kick in the seat of its pants that the music industry needs.

The recording industry is suffering from a bit of an image problem lately. Beyond digital ineptitude, as illustrated by Universal CEO Doug Morris and Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman, the RIAA is wasting money on lawsuits while attempting to hack publicly funded universities. Bad press isn't the best way to win consumer goodwill, and by cutting ties with the rest of the industry, EMI could send the message that it cares more about selling music than suing its customers.