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The Final Cut: Pink Floyd and EMI Group Lawsuit

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By Minara El-Rahman on March 17, 2010 3:20 PM

The rock band Pink Floyd and its battle against EMI Group has finally ended with the U.K. High Court granting the band a right to stop EMI Group from selling their individual songs online. The court ruled that a clause in the contract between EMI Group and Pink Floyd prohibits EMI Group from selling the individual songs without permission from Pink Floyd.

As reported by CNN, the contract had a clause that required EMI Group to "preserve the artistic integrity" of Pink Floyd's albums.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the decision was part of a larger lawsuit over royalties. The decision handed down by Sir Andrew Morritt proclaims that EMI Group can not sell the Pink Floyd albums in any other format other than the original without the band's permission.

Pink Floyd argued that the sale of their individual songs ran counter to their artistic vision of a "concept album" NPR reports that a "concept album" is when an album's songs are meant to be played together in order to tell a story. Pink Floyd wants to sell their songs as a bundle in their album in order to convey a story.

EMI Group tried to argue that the contract only applied to physical albums, not downloads. In spite of this argument, Sir Morritt said that EMI Group 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." He ordered that EMI Group pay the cost of legal fees for the rock band.  

While this is a legal case in the U.K., it does seem like it may be a case that could possibly affect how artists and distributors design their contracts in the US and elsewhere.

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