Pink Floyd Sue EMI Over Royalties

April 20, 2009 9:15 AM ET

Pink Floyd are suing EMI and its private equity firm owners Terra Firma, claiming that the label has miscalculated their royalty payments. According to The Guardian, the legal action likely occurred during the band's negotiations over payments that occur every three years. The exact terms of the lawsuit weren't revealed, and both EMI and Pink Floyd declined to comment on the case. However, since only the Beatles have outsold Pink Floyd's back catalog over the past 25 years, this case may be over millions in lost royalties. The band's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are among the best-selling albums of all time. (Read about both Dark Side and The Wall in our Greatest Albums of All Time.)

Pink Floyd have been with the label since 1967, though in the last few years EMI has alienated a number of its most high-profile artists. Radiohead ditched EMI after re-negotiations failed, opting to self-release In Rainbows. Paul McCartney departed after 45 years to link up with Starbucks' then-emerging HearMusic for 2007's Memory Almost Full, saying EMI had become "boring" and "Everybody at EMI had become part of the furniture. I'd be a couch; Coldplay are an armchair." The Rolling Stones also took their back catalog and left EMI's Virgin Records, signing with Universal in July 2008. The Stones released a statement when news of their new deal broke, saying, "Universal are forward thinking, creative and hands-on music people."

Terra Firma bought EMI in May 2007, and in early 2008 CEO Guy Hands told Rolling Stone he would overhaul the company by cutting costs, consolidating departments and courting corporate sponsors to put their brand on specific artists' music.

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Pink Floyd-Themed Cruise Set to Sail in 2009
The Magic and Majesty of Pink Floyd

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