A story in Variety claims that, after questioning the value of music industry trade groups like the IFPI and RIAA, EMI is taking steps to potentially cut ties with the organizations unless major changes are made to better serve the record labels that fund most of their operations.

All four major labels are reportedly in talks with the IFPI about refocusing its efforts, with EMI demanding a proposal on how the IFPI intends to reorganize by the end of March. EMI currently pays out some $25 million a year to music industry trade bodies. But the label's new owner, Guy Hands, has been suggesting such costs are a waste of money and has threatened to cut EMI's annual funding commitment by half, arguably putting a dent in the trade bodies' efforts to crackdown on music piracy.

One idea that has been pitched by the labels is a consolidation of the IFPI and the RIAA into a single unit that will focus on piracy issues and lobbying. If that happens, the RIAA as we know it might disappear, even as its work continues under a different name or management.