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Pink Floyd and EMI in court over digital royalties and unbundling


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Sparks flew in court yesterday in the dispute between Pink Floyd and their label EMI. The case focuses on how online royalties for the band’s back catalogue have been calculated, as well as the way albums have been sold ‘unbundled’ as individual tracks. The band’s contract with EMI was last renegotiated in 1998-99, before digital sales took off, at a time when – in QC Robert Howe’s words – “It was unclear whether record companies would be selling direct to the consumer or through retailers”. It’s the unbundling aspect that has irked the band most, seemingly. “It is a matter of fact that the defendant has been permitting individual tracks to be downloaded online and that therefore they have been allowing albums not to be sold in their original configuration,” said Howe, suggesting that this is against the terms of the band’s contract. A ruling is expected on Thursday. Source: Financial Times

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