Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Dark Side of the Download: Pink Floyd Sues EMI Over Online Sales

It’s standard operating practice for the music industry: Musicians sue labels, claiming they got screwed out of royalties.

But from a writer’s perspective, it’s always nice when the plaintiff is a well-known act whose catalog includes a hit called “Money.”

Pink Floyd’s suit against EMI is technically about online royalties and the fact that EMI has been selling the group’s work as singles instead of albums at Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes store.* This detracts from the fact that much of the band’s output consists of “seamless pieces,” in which “many of the songs blend into each other,” the group’s lawyer told Bloomberg.

The band isn’t always opposed to people picking and choosing its songs, though. Tune into “Cold Case” on CBS (CBS) on March 21, and you’ll be treated to the following: “Hey You,” “Comfortably Numb,” “Mother,” “Marooned,” “Time,” “The Thin Ice” and “Wish You Were Here.”

In any case, EMI has much bigger problems to worry about. Like staying out of the clutches of rival Warner Music Group (WMG).

“We’re huge fans of Pink Floyd who we have been working with for 40 years and whose great catalog we continue to represent and work for internationally,” says a shy EMI spokesperson.

*We should note that much of “Animals,” which has a great cover but crummy songs, is only available if you buy the entire album.


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle