Pink Floyd Take EMI To Court Over Online Royalties, Unbundling

Litigious EMI may have avoided a court showdown with yet another digital music startup (it’s settled a case over lyrics data with TuneWiki), but it’s also fighting a case brought against it by one of its own artists…

Pink Floyd has two beefs, according to some rather bare-bones reporting of Tuesday morning’s initial hearing in London’s High Court…

PA: “The case concerns how online royalties are to be calculated.”

— And the band also says EMI is breaking their contract by selling individual tracks, unbundled from wider albums.

Aside from that amorphous royalties issue (Bloomberg says “EMI was granted a request to have part of the hearing heard without the media present”), the case illustrates how creative wishes laid down by artists in analogue-era agreements might be trampled over in the online age

Former EMI band Radiohead, too, complained on both these issues before leaving the label. It was, for many years, creatively opposed to track-by-track downloads, instead preferring whole-album sales, but it’s now relented (indeed, last time around, it even released the individual stem components of songs for fans to remix).

After leaving, in 2008 the band’s Thom Yorke told Wired: “EMI wasn