Pink Floyd protect online albums from the chop

Pink Floyd doesn't like being single
Pink Floyd doesn't like being single

Legendary prog-rockers Pink Floyd have won a landmark court ruling, which states that songs from the group's albums are not allowed to be sold separately online.

Unless Pink Floyd gives permission to EMI – its record company – to do so, only the bands albums will be made available for purchase on the web.

According to the judge who resided over the case, this is to "preserve the artistic integrity of the albums".

The albums-only decision means that EMI will have to pay £40,000 in court costs with further fines, according to the BBC, to be decided.

Tangled web

While albums like The Dark Side Of The Moon – which has sold in the region of 35 million copies – are something that needs to be listened to in its entirety, Pink Floyd did release a number of singles when they were together, including early tracks like 'Arnold Layne' and the classic 'Another Brick In The Wall'.

The court decision, however, doesn't mean that these singles will not be released online sans album – they just have to be vetted and approved by the band first.

Interestingly, in court, EMI argued the semantics of what the word 'record' actually meant in Pink Floyd's contract.

EMI said it described the physical thing rather than the group of songs, so the company could essentially take the songs and distribute them however it wanted online. The court, in the end, disagreed.

This will come as a relief to many more musicians whose contracts were created pre-digital that are worried about their back-catalogue being distributed ad hoc on the web. But it will also mean that now bands retain control of how their back catalogue is sold on the internet, downloaders may see big delays in some music finding its way online.

Via the BBC

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.