updated 05:25 pm EST, Tue March 9, 2010
Prog rock band claims album terms valid online
Progressive rock band Pink Floyd on Tuesday sued its label EMI for allegedly breaking the terms of its contract through online sales. The complaint accuses EMI of knowingly "unbundling" the band's songs by letting those at iTunes and other online music stores buy some songs individually, against terms that insist all the content of an album be sold as one item.
The band has long voiced its objection to sales by the track or being included as part of compilations as many of its albums, such as Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall, have songs that either flow directly into each other or are part of a singular album concept.
EMI has tried to deny the validity of the claim and says that the contract only covers physical albums and not digital sales. Pink Floyd attorney Robert Howe insists, however, that the long-term contract covers all formats.
A win by the band could have deep ramifications for sales of its music online, as many stores not only allow selling most Pink Floyd songs individually but in many cases have policies that would make album-only sales difficult. Apple is well-known for refusing to sell albums on iTunes that it can't separate into individual tracks and only bans per-track purchases for songs longer than 10 minutes. Radiohead's long-term absence on iTunes was often attributed to this issue, although Pink Floyd has been on most major Internet stores for years.