Pink Floyd Sues EMI Over Single Track Digital Sales

March 9, 2010

Though a contract between record label EMI and iconic rock band Pink Floyd was negotiated over ten years ago to prepare both parties for the impending digital age of music sales, iTunes was still over 5 years out from launching in the UK and their agreement didn’t allegedly account for the sale of individual tracks. Now that contract will be put under the microscope in a London court, as Pink Floyd is suing EMI over online royalty payments and the sale of single tracks, BusinessWeek reports.

“It’s a matter of fact that the defendant has been permitting individual tracks to be downloaded online and that therefore they have been allowing albums not to be sold in their original configuration,” said Pink Floyd’s attorney, Robert Howe, adding later:

“Pink Floyd is well-known for performing seamless pieces. Many of the songs blend into each other.”

This will be an interesting case to follow from a number of angles. Namely, does the current online royalty payment structure financially inhibit bands from making concept albums? If Pink Floyd’s claims are validated in the courts, that would appear to be so. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and company are watching this case closely to determine the Beatles’ next digital move.

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