Pink Floyd wins UK court battle with EMI label

Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:13pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - British rock band Pink Floyd won its court battle with EMI on Thursday with a ruling that prevents the record company from selling single downloads on the Internet from the group's concept albums.

The outcome of a dispute over the level of royalties the band received remained unclear, however, as that part of the judgment was held in secret, the Press Association reported. A source close to the band said those talks were "ongoing."

Lawyers said it was the first time a royalties dispute between artists and their record companies had been held in private, after EMI successfully applied for a news blackout for reasons of "commercial confidentiality."

The ruling at London's High Court is the latest blow to EMI, the smallest of the four major record companies, which is seeking new funds to avoid breaching debt covenants.

EMI sought to play down the court's decision.

"The litigation has been running for well over a year and most of its points have already been settled," the company said in a statement.

"This week's court hearing was around the interpretation of two contractual points, both linked to the digital sale of Pink Floyd's music. There are further arguments to be heard and the case will go on for some time."

EMI's owner Terra Firma is also embroiled in a legal dispute with Citigroup over advice and financing the U.S. bank provided to enable it to buy EMI in 2007.   Continued...

<p>An inflatable pig with an environmental message floats above the Live Earth New York concert during Pink Floyd member Roger Water's set in East Rutherford, New Jersey July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>