Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Pink Floyd Wins Court Case: Will “Money” Leave iTunes? [UPDATED]

Want to buy Pink Floyd’s “Time” on iTunes but don’t want to pay for all of “Dark Side of the Moon”? You’ll want to make that purchase soon.

A ruling in the band’s lawsuit against EMI Music Group may mean that the band’s songs will only be available online in album form. BBC:

The rock legends, signed to EMI since 1967, said their contract meant their albums could not be split up without their permission.

A judge agreed, saying the contract contained a clause to “preserve the artistic integrity of the albums”.

EMI has been ordered to pay £40,000 ($60,000) in costs, with a further fine to be decided.

…In court, Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt declared 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.

As of this morning, you could still buy much of the band’s output on a track-by-track basis at the online music stores that Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) run.

And just because the band has won the ruling doesn’t mean that’s going to stop–its entirely possible, for instance, that a check of a certain size could allay the band’s concerns. Other album-only holdouts like Metallica and Radiohead eventually held their noses and allowed their stuff to be sold by the song on iTunes, too.

But if you really want to buy “Pigs on the Wing Pt. 1,” but not all of “Animals” (apologies to fans of the album I offended earlier in the week), you might want to buy now, just to be safe.

UPDATE: EMI says it hasn’t been ordered to stop selling individual tracks, adding that this will be hashed out in the courts for a while. Here’s the full text:

Today’s judgment does not require EMI to cease making Pink Floyd’s catalogue available as single track downloads, and EMI continues to sell Pink Floyd’s music digitally and in other formats.

This litigation has been running for well over a year and most of its points have already been settled.

This week’s court hearing was around the interpretation of two contractual points, both linked to the digital sale of Pink Floyd’s music. But there are further arguments to be heard on this and the case will go on for some time.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik