Pink Floyd win control of music in court battle
PINK Floyd won a High Court battle with EMI yesterday preventing the company from selling album songs as individual tracks.
The band, which signed up with EMI in 1967, also challenged its record label over the level of royalties paid for songs sold online, but that matter remains unresolved.
Lawyers said yesterday that other bands might be examining their contracts to see if they can use similar clauses to regain control of their music.
The ruling is a further blow for EMI, which lost its chief executive on Tuesday amid suggestions that bands including Pink Floyd and Queen were considering leaving the company.
EMI has suffered strained relations with its artists since it was bought in 2007 by Terra Firma, the private equity group run by Guy Hands. Sir Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Radiohead have all quit since the takeover.
Pink Floyd has been one of the record company's most lucrative acts.
Sir Andrew Morritt, Chancellor of the High Court, accepted the group's arguments that EMI was bound by a contract stipulating that written consent was necessary for the sale of its material as anything other than complete albums.
However, Pink Floyd's music will continue to be sold as singles until other disputes between the band and EMI are resolved.
Peter Jenner, who managed the group in the 1960s, said that other bands would be likely to benefit from the ruling.
Mark Krais, an expert on music law at Bray and Krais solicitors, said that Pink Floyd's contract was likely to be unique to them, but could bear similarities with those of other groups.
Sir Andrew refused EMI permission to appeal and ordered that it pay the band's £60,000 (€66,000) legal costs. A spokesman for the company said: "There are further arguments to be heard and the case will go on for some time." (© The Times, London)