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Long-playing records by Pink Floyd have vanished from the iTunes and Amazon stores, the result of a dispute with record label EMI.

The group's first albums, for which EMI owns a license, remain on sale for digital download - up to and including the most popular, Dark Side of the Moon. Subsequent releases have been pulled.

Pink Floyd's contract with EMI was last negotiated in 1999, and expired on June 30. In March, the band successfully fought a court case over the right to stop EMI selling individual tracks from the albums, or excerpts of tracks remastered as ringtones.

The band is currently shopping for a new contract, and its management is locked in a long-running dispute over royalties. At the end of the 1970s, Pink Floyd almost filed for bankruptcy - not as a result of record company skullduggery, but a poor investment decision. The band entrusted its royalties to a venture capital company Norton Warburg, which went insolvent, and was found to be misreporting clients, misappropriating client funds, and cooking the books.

By "being greedy and trying to protect it, we'd lost it all," rued co-founder Roger Waters a decade later.

The band's music continues to be available in superior lossless format on unlicensed music sites.

Modern day prog-rockers Radiohead also took the principled position that digital sales of their long-playing albums retain the "bundle", and are not sold as individual single-track downloads. They've since relented, and iTunes lists 200 individual Radiohead tracks. ®

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