Pink Floyd Wins ‘Artistic Integrity’ Battle With EMI

Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – like listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon from start to finish.

So hats off to British Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt, who agreed with the band this week that individual songs should not be sold online without the band’s permission.

In court, Morritt said the band’s contract with EMI contained a clause to “preserve the artistic integrity of the albums,” according to the BCC. “Artistic integrity” sounds especially quaint with a British accent.

EMI, which was recently dealt another blow when OK Go fled to start its own label because of a ban on embedding its videos, said it has not yet been ordered to stop selling single tracks. Songs could eventually be removed from iTunes and other digital music services.

No doubt Pink Floyd viewed its albums as complete works of art, as did many other artists working in the dark predigital era. Preserving albums’ integrity is believed to be one reason why the Beatles, whose catalog is also part of the EMI empire, haven’t sold individual songs online.

Garth Brooks and AC/DC are among other musicians critical of splitting up their albums.

Thursday’s ruling came as part of an ongoing legal dispute between Pink Floyd and EMI regarding payment of online royalties. The group, which signed with the label in 1967, is challenging the way their digital sales are calculated.

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