Pink Floyd has won another court case against their label, EMI. A British court ruled that the band is able to prevent EMI from selling individual digital tracks from their albums without permission.
EMI was apparently trying to take advantage of a potential loophole. Their contract with the band, which was signed in 1999, allowed the label to sell its catalog only as complete albums, but didn’t specifically mention digital downloads.
Of course, that was just before “digital music” was something that would be addressed in contracts. Napster launched mid-1999 . . . and it was another four or five years before people started buying digital music online.
Pink Floyd argued that the spirit of the agreement should extend to digital releases, and the court agreed. (–This was actually EMI’s appeal of a ruling in favor of the band earlier this year. So this court just upheld that judgment.)
Pink Floyd and EMI are also in a much larger legal entanglement. The band claims the label owes them more than $15 million in unpaid royalties from sales between 2002 and 2007.
As of last night, there were still dozens of Pink Floyd tracks available individually on iTunes. It’s unclear if this new ruling means that those will come down, or if the band has already signed off on those being available