The financiers at indebted EMI Group are facing yet another blow as a High Court judge in London ponders the level of fine the label should pay after breaking the terms of its contract with veteran act Pink Floyd.
Floyd was Thursday awarded an interim payment of $60,000 (40,000) after successfully suing the record label for allowing its music to be sold on a track by track basis over the Internet, contrary to an agreement signed in 1999.
That deal, brokered before online music became such an important revenue stream for the record business, stipulated that Pink Floyd's albums should not be split up. However, with consumers able to cherry pick tracks through online stores such as iTunes, the judge found that by making Floyd's music available to such outlets EMI had broken the terms of that deal. In addition to the interim payment and impending fine, the label has now been banned from selling single Floyd tracks online without the band's permission.
The judgment adds to the speculation that Floyd are talking to other record labels about taking their music elsewhere potentially ending an affiliation with EMI that dates back to 1967. Part of Floyd's argument in court also disputed the way EMI calculates royalties from digital sales of the likes of Dark Side of the Moon," The Wall" and Wish You Were Here." With rival record companies eager to land such a prestigious catalog, it's understood that Floyd may be set to move to a new label.
One potential stumbling block to Pink Floyd following the likes of the Rolling Stones in breaking free from EMI is the complex nature of the relationship between the band's members. Whereas most acts have a single artist manager, Floyd's surviving members Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason are individually represented, making any negotiations with the band a complicated task.
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