Pink Floyd win court battle with EMI

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The Independent Culture

Pink Floyd won a ruling at the High Court today which will bar record company EMI selling single downloads from their concept albums.

The band was apparently successful over a challenge on the level of royalties paid by the record company but this part of the judgment was held in secret.

Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt accepted arguments by the group that EMI was bound by a contract forbidding it to sell its records other than as complete albums without written consent.

The judge said the purpose of a clause in the contract was to "preserve the artistic integrity of the albums".

Pink Floyd alleged and EMI agreed that it had allowed online downloads from the albums and had allowed parts of tracks to be used as ringtones.

The record company had argued that the contract related only to physical records and not to online distribution.

Sir Andrew granted the band the declaration they sought - that the contract means EMI is not entitled to exploit recordings by online distribution or by any other means other than the complete original album without Pink Floyd's consent.

EMI had successfully applied to the court for the royalties aspect to be kept secret for reasons of "commercial confidentiality".

Lawyers said it was the first time a royalties dispute between artists and their record companies had been held in private, excluding the media and public.

Sir Andrew ordered EMI to pay Pink Floyd's costs of the case, estimated at £60,000, and refused the company permission to appeal.