Sixty independent Italian labels have left the country's main industry body, Federazione dell'Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI). The labels -- led by Nar International, Edel, V2, Carosello and Sugar

MILAN -- Sixty independent Italian labels have left the country's main industry body, Federazione dell'Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI). The labels -- led by Nar International, Edel, V2, Carosello and Sugar -- resigned from the organization April 26, thereby reducing FIMI membership from 100 labels to about 40.

"We [the indies] basically wanted greater representation, as we had felt suffocated at FIMI for some time," explains Nar International director Mario Limongelli, who resigns as a FIMI VP effective immediately. According to Limongelli, the trade body turned down the indies' request for a representative president, committee and assembly within FIMI.

In a statement, FIMI president Alberto Pojaghi says: "We are naturally sorry that this has happened, but the request by the indies for greater representation was not accepted, as representation in FIMI is based on the individual members' economic contribution."

The indies provided 10.5% of the FIMI's income in 2004, or €176,000 ($228,000).

Limongelli tells ELW that the 60 labels now plan to form their own organization. This would create Italy's fourth representative body, after FIMI, Associazione dei Fonografici Italiani (AFI) and Audiocoop. The latter is a cooperative of smaller indie labels that organizes the annual meeting of independent labels in Faenza, Italy in November.

FIMI was set up in 1992, primarily as the representative of Italy's majors. A large number of indies joined its ranks in December 1998, after exiting from Italy's older representative body, AFI. Limongelli had led the indies' exodus from AFI.