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Thursday, March 11, 2010, 12:45 pm PT (03:45 pm ET)

Pink Floyd songs could be removed from iTunes after court ruling

Music legends Pink Floyd won a lawsuit with their label EMI Thursday, with the band successfully defending its right to block the sale of individual songs on digital download services like iTunes.

According to the BBC, a High Court in the U.K. sided with the band, which signed a deal with EMI that stated individual songs would not be sold without the band's permission. However, that deal was inked before legal digital downloads from services like iTunes hit the market, and the label felt that the same rules didn't apply to digital downloads as did to CDs. The members of Pink Floyd felt otherwise, and the court agreed.

The contract between the band and the label sought to "preserve the artistic integrity" of whole albums by not breaking them up into individual song sales. The decision is reportedly part of a larger case over £10m in unpaid royalties.

"The band largely avoided releasing singles during their career, instead preferring fans to listen to entire albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, which has sold more than 35 million copies around the world," the report said.

EMI has not yet been ordered to cease the sale of tracks. As of Thursday afternoon, individual track sales on iTunes for classics like "Money," and "Wish You Were Here" were still available for individual sale at a cost of $1.29. The BBC simply noted that the band's songs "may be removed from digital music services like iTunes."

Pink Floyd


EMI also owns the catalogue for The Beatles, and it is believed the issue over single song downloads has been what has kept their tracks from being sold iTunes thus far.

The labels attempted to boost whole album digital sales last year, when they convinced Apple to create the iTunes LP format. However, sales thus far are said to have been disappointing.

Issues over digital download royalties led to a legal battle last year between Apple and rapper Eminem. In that case, the artist felt that new, separate contracts should be required for digital distribution. Eminem argued the sale of songs on iTunes was not covered under the terms of the original agreement with the record label. The case was quickly settled out of court.