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Pink Floyd v EMI - Off in the distance
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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-11 12:21
Subject: Pink Floyd v EMI
Security: Public
From this BBC report

He said it would have been "a very odd result" if band members were able to control exactly how their music was sold as a physical product but there was "a free-for-all with no limitation on online distribution".

Elizabeth Jones QC, appearing for EMI, disagreed and said the word "record" in the band's contract "plainly applies to the physical thing - there is nothing to suggest it applies to online distribution".


Hmmm.

Either the record contract covered online sales as well - in which case the stipulation that no singles were to be produced applied - or it didn't, in which case EMI should pony up an awful lot of money for illegally uploading those tracks to the internet for profit.

I'm sure an IP lawyer will be along in a minute.
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Sheep with a guitar
User: sbp
Date: 2010-03-11 09:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It wouldn't have done explicitly - "latest contract was signed before download stores like iTunes appeared" - but a) I don't know how exploitation of new formats gets covered in older contracts and b) PF were big enough to make sure that last contract was favourable towards them as much as they could, so it's probably a pretty bespoke contract.
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Sheep with a guitar
User: sbp
Date: 2010-03-11 09:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"also disputed the way royalties for digital sales were calculated" - I bet they did.
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Laura Anne Gilman
User: suricattus
Date: 2010-03-11 09:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*gets bowl of popcorn and a notebook, and settles in for the long haul*


This could get veeeeery interesting, throughout several industries.

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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-11 12:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes. The interesting thing with the music business is that it's somewhere midway between the film industry (usually hugely collaborative enterprises, with copyrights generally owned by corporates) and the fiction writing arena (mostly done by single authors).
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Dr Plokta
User: drplokta
Date: 2010-03-11 09:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You don't know where the word "record" appeared. Perhaps the contract said that EMI had rights to distribute Pink Floyd's music, but that no sales of single records were permitted. If so, it would seem much less clear-cut.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-03-11 09:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is, indeed, true.

However, I think the court realised that EMI were attempting to both have their cake and eat it, and stomped on them. I strongly suspect that if EMI had treated the albums online the same way as the physical artefacts (i.e. all the tracks on Dark Side sold in one bundle, no splitting), there'd have been no case.

(Well, excepting the royalties question. But the 'artistic integrity' part would have been moot.)
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Alex McLintock
User: alexmc
Date: 2010-03-11 09:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Surely a "record" is a "recording" rather than an "LP". Duh.

I know that Pink Floyd have had their share of court time but I hope they win this one.

Sadly it *might* kill EMI.
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Simon Bradshaw: IP Law
User: major_clanger
Date: 2010-03-11 09:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:IP Law
Well, PF apparently did win.
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Alex McLintock
User: alexmc
Date: 2010-03-11 09:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks. I didn't realise that at first.
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Simon Bradshaw: I Am The Law!
User: major_clanger
Date: 2010-03-11 10:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:I Am The Law!
I'll wait until the full judgment is released before commenting, which I hope will be soon. This seems to have happened very quickly, but this report in the Independent it looks to me as if rather than being a full court case it was an application by Pink Floyd for an injunction to force EMI to interpret and apply the contract in a particular way.
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