Pink Floyd have won their lawsuit over single-song downloads against EMI, effectively halting the digital sale of the band’s individual tracks. As Rolling Stone reported yesterday, under the terms of a 1999 contract that predated iTunes and other digital-music retailers, the band mandated its songs could not be offered outside the context of their original albums. EMI argued that the contract only covered physical and not digital releases. In the end, the judge sided with preserving Pink Floyd’s artistic vision, the BBC reports.
The judge also ordered EMI to pay roughly $60,000 for the band’s legal fees immediately while the court determines how much the label, to which Floyd signed in 1967, should pay in fines and damages. Also at issue: how much money Pink Floyd should receive in digital royalties, because the 1999 contract did not foresee the advent of downloadable music. Millions of dollars could be at stake; only the Beatles’ back catalog is more profitable than Pink Floyd’s.
With the ruling, it’s now last call for fans who want to legally download “The Narrow Way, Pt. 3” without investing in the rest of Ummagumma, since at press time both iTunes and the Amazon MP3 store were still offering up Pink Floyd’s tracks as single song downloads. Expect this to change in the near future.