– Veteran rock band Pink Floyd has filed suit against major record label EMI
over the way in which royalties have been paid to the band for digital music
sold online. The band’s ten-year-old contract was signed before Apple’s iTunes
Store existed, and stipulates that the band’s albums may not be sold as
"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,"
Robert Howe, Pink Floyd’s attorney, said in Britain’s High Court, according to
"Pink Floyd is well-known for performing seamless
pieces. Many of the songs blend into each other."
For its part, EMI is
arguing that the contract the band signed refers to physical, and not digital
"In 1999, when it was negotiated, iTunes didn’t even exist," EMI
attorney Elizabeth Jones told BusinessWeek.
"I can’t say it’s obvious from
the agreement what the commercial intent of the parties was. I’m sure the
claimants would have liked to protect their records and EMI would have liked to
have had full control to exploit."