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EMI Cannot Unbundle Pink Floyd Songs

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-this-is-on-the-internet dept.

Music 601

smooth wombat writes "Before the advent of iTunes and MP3s, EMI and Pink Floyd entered into a contract which stated that EMI could not unbundle individual songs from their original album settings. This was insisted upon by the members of Pink Floyd, who wanted to retain artistic control of their works, which they considered 'seamless' pieces of music. However, with the advent of digital downloads, EMI has been selling individual songs through its online store. Pink Floyd sued, claiming EMI was violating the contract, whereas EMI said the contract only applied to physical albums, not Internet sales. Judge Andrew Morritt backed the band, saying the contract protected 'the artistic integrity of the albums.' Judge Morritt also ruled EMI 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.'"

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601 comments

Emi (5, Funny)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442476)

all in all, they just ran into a wall.

Re:Emi (5, Funny)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442566)

We don't need no compilations!

Re:Emi (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442604)

Hey, Leachers, leave that band alone!

(Alternate title: Several Species of Nasty Verminous Lawyers Gathered Together in a Basement Groveling Over a Contract)

Re:Emi (1, Redundant)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442610)

HEY! Lawyers! Leave EMI alone!

Re:Emi (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442798)

This is so cool!!

Too bad we don't have newer bands around today, that can make a whole albums worth of music worth listening to...

Re:Emi (4, Insightful)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442996)

I think people who say stuff like this are revealing more about their own taste in music than they realize. At 27, I can honestly say that there's been a wealth of great music released throughout my life, even if it isn't on heavy rotation on radio and cable music networks. And I can think of very few one hit wonders I'd include in that.

Re:Emi (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443084)

What do you recommend for discovering music that "isn't on heavy rotation on radio" without having to sit down at a computer desk?

Re:Emi (4, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443276)

College radio stations. I've listened to more new music since I started listening (5 years ago) to the local community college radio station than in the previous 43 years of my life. I mostly listen in my car but they do stream online as well at http://www.897theriver.com/ [897theriver.com]

Support local music (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443290)

Go out to your local clubs and see live music, played on real instruments, by real musicians.

Re:Emi (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443294)

What do you recommend for discovering music that "isn't on heavy rotation on radio" without having to sit down at a computer desk?

Pandora has a plugin for crackberries ;)

Re:Emi (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443088)

I've seen a couple of the newer bands that I liked every song on the album. Most though are one or two good songs and the rest filler. But that was true even back in the seventies.

Re:Emi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443160)

Radiohead. Well, relative to Pink Floyd they're "new".

Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Interesting)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442496)

I don't remember, how much money does a band get per (legally) downloaded audio track?

If they want their art to be bundled and only sold that way, and EMI agreed to it, good for them. But at the same time, (assuming they care, they may not) they could also be limiting themselves on the amount of money they could be making.

As I said, I doubt they care, but it's interesting to me.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442580)

For Pink Floyd this is about artistic integrity, not profit. They've already made their money. For EMI it's all about profit, and that's why Pink Floyd put that provision in the contract.

This is a win for Pink Floyd, and a loss for labels who think they can do whatever they want.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (4, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442744)

There is no downside to this ruling. Admittedly, people who would like to download only parts of Pink Floyd albums will be disappointed, but from a stand point of what is good for society this is a good ruling. Of course, if copyright didn't extend longer than it should, this ruling would be irrelevant since Pink Floyd's music would be in the public domain by now (or within a couple of years anyway).

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443190)

There is no downside to this ruling. Admittedly, people who would like to download only parts of Pink Floyd albums will be disappointed, but from a stand point of what is good for society this is a good ruling. Of course, if copyright didn't extend longer than it should, this ruling would be irrelevant since Pink Floyd's music would be in the public domain by now (or within a couple of years anyway).

Oy, there is no such thing as society. You ought to be applauding this because it is good for the individual, and protects the right to enter into and enforce contracts. Negotiation and trade of your labour and creative works by mutual consent.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443316)

Oy, there is no such thing as society.

There used to be before some "progressive" jackass gave niggers and cunts the right to vote

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443012)

For Pink Floyd this is about artistic integrity, not profit.

Then why would Pink Floyd ask for royalties as damages? How long did these bundled sales go on before Pink Floyd decided to sue?

From the BBC article [bbc.co.uk] :

EMI disagreed but a judge has sided with Pink Floyd. The ruling is part of a long-running battle between the two sides over £10m in unpaid royalties.

I also am a huge fan of Pink Floyd but I believe your altruistic views of Floyd are a bit misplaced. I dare say this may be a deeper battle with greed also playing a part and 'art' being used as a facade. If they were concerned about their art, from day one they would have denied radio stations the ability to play their work on the radio without the entirety of an album being played. You and I both know this is not the case.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443140)

Maybe it's greed or maybe it's revenge. The only way to hurt EMI is through their bank account. If someone makes me go to all the trouble and expense of hiring a law firm I'm damn sure going to hurt them as bad as I can.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (3, Insightful)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443058)

You think that's a win? It just means more Pink Floyd songs will be downloaded on file sharing services rather than purchased legitimately. When all that is left is illegitimate means you can guarantee that's the route people will take. This time, it's the artists I have no sympathy for. That's a switch.

Maybe they don't even mind if people share their music (having "already made their money"), which would be admirable, but it's still a disservice to their fans to not give them a legitimate avenue other than "buy a CD" (which for me personally would amount to maybe 20% to 30% of a Pink Floyd album that I actually like.)

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443268)

It seems like one mp3 of the whole album should be fine to sell.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443144)

For Pink Floyd this is about artistic integrity, not profit. They've already made their money. For EMI it's all about profit, and that's why Pink Floyd put that provision in the contract.

This is a win for Pink Floyd, and a loss for labels who think they can do whatever they want.

Problem is, I've heard this same argument from bands who put out crap albums that contain one good song and 10 lousy ones, and I've bought some of those albums/CDs - generally there's no story or continuity involved, it's just an excuse to try to force people to pay album prices for the only good song the group could come up with.

I have a few old Pink Floyd albums ("Dark Side of the Moon" of course, although I prefer "The Wall"), and I realize with them the albums really were designed as complete works rather than a compilation of separate tracks - but in my opinion they are the exception rather than the rule.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443302)

In for a penny or in for a pound? That's a decision for the talent to make and not the middleman.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442606)

I don't remember, how much money does a band get per (legally) downloaded audio track?

If they want their art to be bundled and only sold that way, and EMI agreed to it, good for them. But at the same time, (assuming they care, they may not) they could also be limiting themselves on the amount of money they could be making.

As I said, I doubt they care, but it's interesting to me.

Well, the result included an undisclosed settlement of royalties paid to Pink Floyd by EMI based on past sales. So it could be as serious as the difference album versus fractional purchase of everyone who bought only fractions of Pink Floyd albums.

If it's in the contract, it's in the contract. I question why Pink Floyd bothered to divide them into tracks or to name them different names if they truly were 'seamless.' I understand that the Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, etc of songs like "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" but there are stand alone tracks on Floyd albums. I guess it was in the contract and EMI agreed to it. I think it's usually the artist getting bit by contractual agreements so I'm sure EMI is due.

I must question how long Pink Floyd allowed this to go on before seeking reparations from EMI ... seems to me iTunes has been offering Floyd for a long time. Greed on Pink Floyd's part? Or just a genuine slow realization that people weren't getting the full effect of their art?

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Interesting)

profplump (309017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442696)

Radio. It's much easier to get playtime for 4 minutes than 40.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442888)

Or they approached EMI first, then eventually went to court, then it was there for a couple of years, and now it's done. The article doesn't mention when they first complained. They say the contract is from a decade ago, which sounds about a quarter-century short of Dark Side, and certainly post-Waters.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442928)

I question why Pink Floyd bothered to divide them into tracks or to name them different names if they truly were 'seamless.'

I can tell that you don't listen to any classical music. It's about the composition as a whole, which is comprised of smaller pieces or movements. Floyd is (well, was) doing the same thing, except via modern instrumentation.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443138)

Why do authors often give names to chapters in their books, if they never intend on having chapters published individually?

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443334)

Why do authors often give names to chapters in their books, if they never intend on having chapters published individually?

Because chapters have information relevant to the story lines? Not all Floyd songs off of a given album have information related to each other.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443296)

That's like asking why movies and books are divided into chapters. You can't understand chapter 13 without reading chapter 12. So, why bother dividing them into "stand alone" chapters?

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (2, Insightful)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442628)

I believe its because Pink Floyd is not worried about their wealth but rather the distribution of their art. The concept is crazy, I know, but there are people out there who do things for other reasons than greed in today's modern world, despite what EMI will have you believe

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443112)

Stop this nonsense. Just stop it.

The band made nine figures off of Dark Side.

And I'm talking about THEIR cut, not overall sales.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443348)

Retaining artistic integrity and being successful are not always mutually exclusive, you know. If I pour all my creativity into a musical masterpiece and it happens to sell millions, does that make me greedy? Does that negate the fact that I am not doing everything for the money?

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442660)

Well, the question is not did PF use this to stop EMI from selling it separately, but did they do it to try to get out of the contract and regain control over their songs?

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443176)

Well, the question is not did PF use this to stop EMI from selling it separately, but did they do it to try to get out of the contract and regain control over their songs?

They have control over their songs as defined in the contract. They were simply exercising this control by suing EMI.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442670)

I think Pink Floyd isn't worried about money any more. This is about art, and obviously art is more important than money for them. This keeps them from having lots of lame boxed sets made, or songs downloaded out of context so the artistic point gets blunted.

My hat is off to you Pink Floyd!

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443008)

This is about art, and obviously art is more important than money for them.

Of course. They already HAVE the money.

It's easy to look like something is more important than money when you already have all the money you want.

I'm not saying your statement is true or false. I'm saying that this lawsuit does not necessarily prove that. Now, if they started giving all their money to charities... in other words, getting RID of their money ... then I'd be more inclined to believe it. As it is, they're not losing anything, except possibly future sales. But we all know that isn't a loss, just like it's not a "theft" if you download an album instead of paying for it? ;)

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (5, Interesting)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442678)

Albums like Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here are made as single things. It was the glory days of the concept album. The best track is like the best square inch of a good painting, and they don't want to be judged on that. Good on 'em.

What I want to know is whether this means that EMI reckons we can freely copy EMI songs from that period because their copyrights applied to the physical album only, so a digital copy from vinyl is OK for free distribution.

Re:Good for PF...but also...bad for PF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442764)

Good analogy!

because they need more money? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442738)

These guys ain't the poor artists that the RIAA likes you to believe exists (and works very hard at trying to create by not actually paying royalties they collect to artists). So i doubt they give a shit. Really, they don't have to go dumpster diving anytime soon.

3 strikes, please (3, Funny)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442510)

Let's hope they get permanently blocked by their ISP (and others) for three strikes.

Re:3 strikes, please (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442642)

Let's hope they get permanently blocked by their ISP (and others) for three strikes.

It'd be unfortunate for it to have to come to that, but it would be an ultimately good thing if such advocates for ever stringent copyright laws got a taste of their own medicine. In a way, that's what is happening here. Pink Floyd is only able to exert this control (and have a judge back them up) because of the strict nature of copyright law, including over songs that are significantly older than many folks participating in this discussion. It seems that EMI and others who lobby for more copyright restrictions have gotten what they wanted. It's viscerally satisfying to see that what they want and try so hard to get more of is not always how they imagined it to be.

Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV"... (5, Insightful)

hubert.lepicki (1119397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442516)

doesn't make any sense. Pink Floyd's music is meant to be listened to as a whole, albums are (the good ones) carefully prepared and are one piece of music story.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442648)

Pink Floyd's music is meant to be listened to as a whole, albums are (the good ones) carefully prepared and are one piece of music story.

Tell that to Pandora when it plays it to me. Maybe they are next on Pink Floyd lawyers list...

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442708)

I am a fan of Pink Floyd - some of their music can easily be removed and sold individually. Comfortably Numb, Money, Time, Learning to Fly, etc, can all be enjoyed individually with little to no "loss" in atmosphere.

This is how it is played on radio, this is how people have been introduced to it. But once you start listening to the CDs as a whole, you'll never want to go back to one-off radio play. Seeing Roger Waters play Dark Side of the Moon was amazing - and you have to agree with Pink Floyd, something is missing when you play each track by itself and out of order.

Songs like Shine on you Crazy Diamond have to be played together, otherwise it doesn't make much sense. On the radio, DJs will frequently take "Us and Them" and meld it in with Any Color you like, Brain Damage, Eclipse to make sense. Same with parts of Another Brick in the Wall. Listening to many of the Pink Floyd CDs, you can barely tell when one song ends and another begins.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442726)

I have yet to hear an entire Pink Floyd album played on the radio. I hear "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" almost daily, and frequently hear "Money", "Learning to Fly", "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb". I'm no Floyd fan, but I like some of those tunes enough that I'd buy them individually, and screw anyone who says I shouldn't be able to because of "artistic integrity".

I submit that telling me how to appreciate a piece of art negates its status as art.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442792)

I have yet to hear anything resembling artistic integrity on the radio.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443050)

What genres are you listening to?

I've heard plenty of quite good artists and artistic performances on the radio. But I listen to classical music, usually.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442930)

FYI, I hate hearing money by itself. I really do feel that song loses all of its meaning when played outside the album

But no, the artists can say what they want and choose to sell their art in whatever manner they please. They can also tell you how to enjoy it.

But you. You are obviously not bound by the artists interpretation of their own work. If you disagree with it,agree with it, are apathetic towards the artists interpretation, its still art.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443256)

FYI, I hate hearing money by itself. I really do feel that song loses all of its meaning when played outside the album

But no, the artists can say what they want and choose to sell their art in whatever manner they please. They can also tell you how to enjoy it.

But you. You are obviously not bound by the artists interpretation of their own work. If you disagree with it,agree with it, are apathetic towards the artists interpretation, its still art.

Art is in the ears of the behearer...

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443340)

I have yet to hear an entire Pink Floyd album played on the radio.

Where I grew up, one of the local stations used to play The Wall (and I think Dark Side of the Moon, sometimes) regularly on Sunday nights. But it's not surprising you haven't heard the full albums on the radio: the radio is not a medium suited to celebrating long-running conceptual music.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442842)

Yeah, I don't think this sort of thing bothers me. I think it will probably hurt their sales in some ways, but whatever.... as long as they sell it DRM-free and don't try to negotiate weird/strict licensing deals and stuff like that.

I know we like to live in a black and white world where every action is either evil or terrific based purely on the action itself, but the motivations really do matter. I think it sucks when a record label picks out the couple of songs that you really want on an album and says they're "Album only", i.e. when every other song on some compilation album is available for purchase on its own, but the 1 big hit song on the album in unavailable for purchase by itself. That's annoying.

But the artist himself saying, "I developed this to be a whole album, and I don't want people purchasing parts"...? Meh. I can live with it.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (4, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442864)

I'd take that one step further, I wish mp3 players were designed with a easy "Continue on to next track" feature for random play. I love having my iPod on shuffle, except when playing things that segue like Dark Side of The Moon or Abbey Road or Frank Zappa's Apostrophe. When a tune like "Brain Damage" comes on, it would be nice to have an one-push feature that will continue to "Eclipse", as opposed to Floydus Interruptus.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443206)

Couldn't you say all that equally applies to the preceding track as well? I hear what you're saying, but what I'd rather have is a "don't play this song on its own" flag. We're all different, of course - since I prefer listening to Albums rather than using shuffle anyway.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (1)

DWIM (547700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442910)

Pink Floyd's music is meant to be listened to as a whole, albums are (the good ones) carefully prepared and are one piece of music story.

Except for the singles the band agreed to release, right? You know, "Money," "Us and Them," "Have a cigar," "Wish You Were Here," "Another Brick in the Wall," etc.

Re:Because selling "Shine on you crazy diamond IV" (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442970)

Yes, those are different. They agreed to release those as singles. Doesn't change the fact that their contract with EMI says that EMI can not sell their albums as anything but the full album without PF's consent.

Guess no music games then (1)

inio (26835) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442526)

There goes any hopes for Pink Floyd on Rock Band or Guitar Hero...

Re:Guess no music games then (1)

Moridin42 (219670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442622)

I suppose you know the band, do you?

Because it could still happen with their consent. It just won't with the standard record label voluntold process.

Re:Guess no music games then (1)

Mekkah (1651935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442636)

Because you wanted to play a 10 minute Rock Band song? That's a lot of star power.

Re:Guess no music games then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442960)

Because you wanted to play a 10 minute Rock Band song? That's a lot of star power.

10 minutes of Pink Floyd? Hell yeah!

Re:Guess no music games then (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442702)

There goes any hopes for Pink Floyd on Rock Band or Guitar Hero...

They can still make em, they're just going to be fucking brutal. One level is Dark Side of the Moon. The next is The Wall. Hope you can keep it up for 81 minutes, fucker!

Re:Guess no music games then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442712)

There's still the option of a game of their own, a la The Beatles: Rock Band. And they could allow the albums to be played only as one piece.

Then again, if the music is licensed for the game, that might make it a brand new contract and allow them to work around this.

For what it's worth, there are only a handful of Floyd songs that I enjoy solo, most are best as a package. Even those I enjoy on their own, like Brain Damage/Eclipse, are much more powerful in the full album.

Re:Guess no music games then (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443214)

And only a handful that would make good rock band songs. There's so much ambient noise and synth stuff that it doesn't convert well to the "two guitars and a drummer" model they use.

Radio? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442532)

It's funny because radio destroys this "artistic integrity" by playing Pink Floyd singles every day.

Re:Radio? (1)

GuJiaXian (455569) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442578)

True. I hear "Money," "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2," and "Time" on radio stations all the time.

Re:Radio? (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442682)

But more than other bands, you are likely to hear 3-4 songs grouped together to maintain some sembelance of the flow i.e.

"Another Brick in the Wall: Part 1"+ "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"+ "Another Brick in the Wall: Part 2"

Re:Radio? (2, Insightful)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442728)

Well there is a big difference between individual songs played on the radio as opposed to individual songs bought on iTunes. Yes, the radio plays their songs stand alone, but if I liked the song "Money" and I wanted to hear it again I have to go buy "Dark Side of the Moon" where I will be exposed to all of the songs on the album. Now if they were sold as singles on iTunes, well all I would ever hear was "Money". I would never be exposed to any of the much better songs on the original album.

Re:Radio? (0, Flamebait)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442698)

While you think you've made some sort of insightful comment you're really just an idiot. Their contract doesn't have anything to do with their songs being on the radio. It has to do with the distribution of the album by EMI.

Re:Radio? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443270)

3 moderators agree with him; none with you.

Well, congrats on suckering in a few +mods (1, Insightful)

axl917 (1542205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443118)

as apparently people just blindly click on what they perceive is lulzy, but was really quite dim.

We're talking about the sale of the songs and albums here; not the one-time listening on a radio station. Apples and oranges. Sure, some tracks like Money or Comfortably Numb lend themselves to single airplay, but when was the last time a station played "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party, Entertainment" ?

This isn't about bundling... (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442546)

...this is about a record label subverting a contract. EMI clearly feels EMI will make more money by subverting the contract and selling tracks, Pink Floyd clearly feels Pink Floyd will make more money by selling entire albums and doesn't want to jeopardize that. EMI is probably right, Pink Floyd possibly so. The courts only come in due to the fact that they can actually afford to sue their label over EMI's failure to live up to its contract.

Re:This isn't about bundling... (5, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442658)

You know, this might be a bit of a shock for you but sometimes, on very rare occasions, people make decisions where monetary profit is not the prime motivator. This might be one such case...

Re:This isn't about bundling... (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443090)

I think its half and half. I think EMI is being motivated purely by profit, while the band could care less about the money and is concerned about their artistic record and creative integrity.

Re:This isn't about bundling... (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442752)

...this is about a record label subverting a contract. EMI clearly feels EMI will make more money by subverting the contract and selling tracks, Pink Floyd clearly feels Pink Floyd will make more money by selling entire albums

Pink Floyd doesn't feel there's more money in album sales. They feel that they didn't make individual pieces, they made a whole, and they feel that it should only be sold as a whole.

Re:This isn't about bundling... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442884)

...this is about a record label subverting a contract. EMI clearly feels EMI will make more money by subverting the contract and selling tracks, Pink Floyd clearly feels Pink Floyd will make more money by selling entire albums and doesn't want to jeopardize that. EMI is probably right, Pink Floyd possibly so. The courts only come in due to the fact that they can actually afford to sue their label over EMI's failure to live up to its contract.

I have not audited their finances, of course, but I seriously doubt that Pink Floyd is hurting for money. I imagine they are enjoying a large degree of financial security. Additionally, this is music that has had an enduring appeal for decades now and is not some one-hit wonder or trendy pop music that gets their 15 minutes of fame, milks that for all the money they can get, and fades into obscurity. For these reasons, I'm more inclined to believe that this is truly an artistic concern over how they want their work to be appreciated.

In other words, I think it's EMI and only EMI that is concerned about money here. I believe this is why they took liberties with the contract that were not upheld by the court. It's good to see some occasional sanity in the copyright realm and I think this sets a desirable precedent. Congratulations to Pink Floyd for demonstrating that "the system" can occasionally be fair and fulfill its purpose of protecting our rights, as we hear far too many examples to the contrary. Still, I don't doubt that you're right about one thing: the desirable outcome was quite likely because Pink Floyd can afford good legal representation and therefore would not be so easy for a corporation to push around.

A win is a win. (3, Interesting)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442646)

This doesn't prevent Pink Floyd from making a separate deal to sell individual songs. To me it's more about smacking down EMI for trying to bypass contract verbiage and I applaud that. It's nice to see that a judge thinks an artist's vision of their work actually counts for something.

So, my guess is... (5, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442750)

That Slashdot will generally back up PF in this, because they are standing up to the evil record label.

Which seems to be somewhat contradictory to the general opinion that record labels (and/or artists? information wants to be free? evil copyright?) should not be allowed to have such tight control over how things are sold.

So here's a record label making it EASIER to get tracks and we're upset about it, because PinkFloyd wants to only sell complete albums. I guess that's their artistic license... but aren't they being evil and putting strict terms on how you acquire their music? I've heard plenty of arguments how that shouldn't be allowed, it's not fair, etc., unless you're talking about physical media. And PF is now suing over distribution of non-physical media ...

So yes: in my opinion, EMI is breaking a contract. Bad.

And in my opinion/guess, Slashdot is going to generally be contradicting themselves, upholding a "non-freedom" position (PF's) because it happens to be against what the record label wants.

If PF wanted it to be listened to as a whole, then make it one track. Or make it movements, like symphonies... etc. For that matter, think of all the symphonies that are sold by movement. Separately... :)

Re:So, my guess is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442954)

crap, I'm showing my age... BUT when "The Dark Side of the Moon" was released in '73, it was on vinyl. While there might have been fades between "songs", there was no metadata indicating "tracks".
For that matter, they could probably bitch about the tracks on the CD releases, but you couldn't buy 1 track of a CD, so no harm no foul.

Re:So, my guess is... (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443064)

Protecting their artistic integrity is evil? Get real. Pink Floyd isn't the only band that doesn't allow their albums to be butchered and sold like pop music happy meals.

Re:So, my guess is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443174)

That Slashdot will generally back up PF in this, because they are standing up to the evil record label.

Which seems to be somewhat contradictory to the general opinion that record labels (and/or artists? information wants to be free?

You don't understand. Slashdot hates Big Things. When confronted with two Big Things, Slashdot will hate the bigger thing more. That's why Slashdot hates EMI more than Pink Floyd. Big Corporation, Smaller Artist.

Re:So, my guess is... (1)

wayland (165119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443328)

On the other hand, EMI (via their proxy, RIAA) lobbied for stricter copyright.  Now they're getting a taste of their own medicine.  If "taste of their own medicine for bad guys" trumps "copyright freedom", there's no contradiction in Slashdot's logic.  It's kind of like how Alan Ralsky got sent a bucketload of junk mail, even though Slashdot is generally anti-spam. 

Protecting the Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442754)

The wonder of Pink Floyd is not its "hits" like "Another Brick in the Wall" or "Money". Insead, the most popular thing by them is "Dark Side of the Moon" You don't just listen to one of the "songs" on the album, you listen to the ablum. If you wanted to cut it, you can cut it at the midpoint, when you would have to turn over the record. Any other split is breaking apart the music.
Someone mentioned above, selling Shine on You Crazy Diamond IIV is just stupid. Many of their "songs" are really long, but this is only because they did better with that part of the album, so there wasn't an obvious split. EMI has no right to go back on its contract, or break down the music it is distributing.

Song flow (4, Interesting)

SoTerrified (660807) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442778)

I never realized how intercoupled the songs on Pink Floyd albums were until I happened to listen to the songs on my mp3 device while set to 'random song'. It was jumping all over my music collection, and all the Pink Floyd songs were either jarring to come into or ended abruptly. I can see why they didn't want them split up. They really are parts of a whole with a few exceptions.

But c'mon, what balls on EMI. Because they signed a contract that said EMI could only sell the records if they were intact, EMI tried to weasel out by saying they weren't selling records. But then I remember this is one of the labels behind the RIAA extortion scheme, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Re:Song flow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443072)

For most of their "middle" years albums, that's true. It's not true for the "early" years ("Piper at the Gate of Dawn" and "Saucer full of Secrets") and the "later" years ("Momentary Lapse of Reason" and "Division Bell").

Props to Pink Floyd... (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442786)

...for sticking to their guns. Artistic integrity isn't generally a concern of popular musicians.

Re:Props to Pink Floyd... (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31442966)

On the other hand, they've already made their fortunes. They can afford to have artistic integrity.

Re:Props to Pink Floyd... (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443104)

If Pink Floyd were merely in it for the money, they could have been a pop band this entire time. Even when they didn't have their fortunes they were releasing albums with no pop music appeal.

I know it's hard for some to imagine, but some musicians do what they do, because they need to do it. Not as a get rich quick scheme.

Easy Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31442986)

All they have to do is concatenate all the songs into one file.

Pink Floyd are the true masters at what they do (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443134)

I'm all for being able to buy tracks that we like, because a _lot_ of bands make really crappy albums with 1-2 good tracks. In Pink Floyd's case a lot of albums are made to be a whole, songs flowing into each other, by theme, by style, by meaning, and so on, some of their albums are really good, pieces of art in every sense of the word. Picking tracks one by one is still ok, for those who know the albums, even I listen to a lot of PF songs separately, but it's different than taking a random track from a random band, since I almost always can recall the album itself - I can't really put this into words, the best one I can find is that some of their albums truly provide a nice experience. If they ask some "song retailer" - as I like to call the likes of EMI - to keep the integrity of their creations, I'd honor that request, if not for anything else, then out of respect for what they've put on the table. We're not talking about some one-timer pop-group here, who were slapped together for a quick money tour then disappear into oblivion. I know it's all about profit, still, it's stupid.

What about listening? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31443194)

Am I allowed to LISTEN to individual tracks? Or must I listen an entire Pink Floyd album each time? Will the band sue me if I don't?

I'm quite afraid now that I might be liable if there is a power cut in the middle of listening to one of their albums.

Any legal advice would be appreciated.

PF Will... (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31443200)

Pink Floyd will let their albums be unbundled when pigs fly. Oh wait...http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/01/P1000184.JPG
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