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Pink Floyd albums removed from iTunes after record contract expires

Numerous albums from legendary rock band Pink Floyd have disappeared from Apple's iTunes store, along with other digital storefronts, following the expiration of a contract between the band and its record label.

Pink Floyd's contract with EMI covering albums post "Dark Side of the Moon" expired on June 30. Since then, some of the band's most popular albums, including "Wish You Were Here," "The Wall," and "Animals," were removed from the iTunes Music Store, as well as and other digital music sellers.

However, the albums — and some individual tracks — can still be purchased through the "Oh By the Way" studio album boxset available on iTunes, and released in 2008 by EMI. The set includes both discs of "The Wall," which can be purchased separately from the box set, but "Wish You Were Here" can only be bought as part of the $139.99 total collection.

According to Gibson Lifestyle, Pink Floyd has

The disappearance of the albums came about after the band won a lawsuit against EMI in March, allowing it to block the sale of individual songs on services like iTunes. A High Court in the U.K. determined that the band could "preserve the artistic integrity" of whole albums by not breaking them up into individual song sales.

Pink Floyd and EMI are no longer under contract for later albums, but earlier titles like "Dark Side of the Moon" remain under the label's control. In addition, while EMI can no longer press CDs for titles like "Wish You Were Here," the company can sell its remaining stock of physical albums.

EMI also owns the catalog for The Beatles, and it has been said the issue over single song downloads has been what has kept their tracks from being sold iTunes thus far. Yoko Ono, widow of John Lennon, said earlier this month that fans should not expect the band's catalog to become available on iTunes anytime soon. "Don't hold your breath," she said.