Court to EMI: Don’t Break Up Floyd

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Legendary rock band Pink Floyd won a court battle on Wednesday blocking EMI from selling its songs online as individual tracks instead of complete albums. The court also ordered EMI to pay about US$60,000 in costs and will rule later on what the record label must pay in fines, according to the BBC.

The judge sided with the band because its contract with EMI includes the wording "preserve the artistic integrity of the albums."

EMI's distribution agreement with Pink Floyd doesn't allow for individual song sales -- a point that the record label felt applied only to physical album sales, and not digital purchases from online services such as Apple's iTunes Store. The band, however, felt the stipulation applied to all methods of distribution, not just physical copies.

EMI hasn't had time yet to change how Pink Floyd's library is distributed through online services, so shoppers can still buy individual tracks from albums like Dark Side of the Moon at the iTunes Store. Certain songs, like Time and Us and Them, however, have always been available only when purchasing the full album.

There's no word yet on when to expect EMI to switch to offering electronic versions of Pink Floyd's library only in album format.

Comments

DSM

Much as I like Pink Floyd and believe they are one of the few bands that actually put together a complete album vs one or two hits and boat loads of soundalike filler no one cares about, as soon as you mark off sections of an album as a ‘song’ then its going to get consumed as individual pieces.  I rather doubt Floyd plays the entire Dark Side of the Moon album in concert when they just want to play Money.  And if they don’t, then claiming ‘artistic integrity’ is just so much BS.  Unless you define ‘artistic integrity’ as ‘you must buy the very expensive whole so that we don’t have to work hard to make every song good and so we can continue to rake in money hand over fist’.

You want artistic integrity for your album?  Make it one big track, no songs.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

With apologies to the integrity of Pink Floyd’s albums…

We don’t need no iPhone App Store
We want apps under our control
No swimsuits or boobies on our iPhones
Steve Jobs just leave us alone.
Hey, Steve Jobs, leave us alone!
Android’s coming to kick you square in the b*lls.

Tiger

Cute use of lyrics, except Apple wasn’t the point here, it was EMI. iTunes happened to be ONE of the services that EMI was using to distribute singles, but it wasn’t the only one and the services themselves weren’t the culprit.

How about

Hey, EMI, leave them songs together!

geoduck

EMI was trying to establish that online sales were different and though EMI did still control distribution of the music, any restrictions in existing contracts did not apply. This would have given EMI the right to do whatever they wanted with the music and screw over the musicians in any way the felt like. This ruling is good not only for Pink Floyd but all bands no matter how big or small they are.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This one is for Tiger…

We don’t need no juggling boobies
We don’t need no skin at all
SI and Playboy are OK though
They’re on Nickelodeon in the morn.
Hey Steve Jobs, thanks for making burqas the norm!

All this Apple bashing is just so worn.

Dean Lewis

As much as I think bands are flailing against the wind trying to keep albums as one entity these days, I do have to agree it should be the band’s choice and EMI probably did go beyond the bounds of its contractual agreements.

Bosco—Don’t quit your daytime programming job. smile

Gene King

You want artistic integrity for your album?  Make it one big track, no songs.

Didn’t Prince do that years ago?...

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