updated 10:00 am EST, Thu March 11, 2010
Pink Floyd decision may pull music from iTunes
Pink Floyd in a UK court on Thursday won a key ruling in its case against EMI for allegedly breaking its contract terms. The quick turnaround would prevent the music label from selling any Pink Floyd songs as individual downloads without permission from the band. In his findings, Judge Morritt determined that the key clause preventing per-track sales was meant to "preserve the artistic integrity" regardless of format.
EMI had tried to argue that this part of the contract only covered physical media and not downloads. Critics of this model had said it was being used to avoid paying full royalties for the online sales of many bands.
The legal victory also tackles the question of royalties relating to sales, but EMI previously won a minor ruling that would keep the number secret as a competitive secret.
Pink Floyd's win potentially removes its content from most online music stores, including Amazon MP3, iTunes and most any store that allows customers to buy songs individually. The group can potentially keep its content on the stores as-is by granting permission, but it may have difficulty persuading some stores to agree to such terms. Apple in particular has often insisted that all songs under 10 minutes must be available individually and may be more likely to pull content outright than agree to a compromise.