Pink Floyd won a ruling at the High Court yesterday which bars record company EMI selling single downloads from their concept albums.
The band was apparently successful over a challenge on the level of royalties paid but this part of the judgment was held in secret.
Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt accepted arguments that EMI was bound by a contract forbidding it to sell its records other than as complete albums without written consent so as to, he said, “preserve the artistic integrity of the albums”.
Pink Floyd alleged and EMI agreed that it had allowed online downloads from the albums and had allowed parts of tracks to be used as ringtones. EMI argued that the contract related only to physical records and not online distribution.
Sir Andrew granted the band the declaration they sought — that the contract means EMI is not entitled to exploit recordings by online distribution or by any other means other than the complete original album without consent.
Sir Andrew ordered EMI to pay Pink Floyd's costs, estimated at £60,000, and refused permission to appeal.