The underlying issue is a relatively simple one: Pink Floyd’s contract with its record company, EMI, gives the band the right to say yeah or nay to the sale of individual tracks from its albums. Pink Floyd’s intent is to preserve what it says is the artistic integrity of its work. While the contract was signed pre-digital, the band believes it applies to the digital world as well.
Pink Floyd isn’t looking to prevent its music from being available digitally. Instead it wants to control the way that music is made available. For Pink Floyd this would be the whole album or nothing at all. And for such works as The Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall, this seems to make sense. Other artists, such as Garth Brooks and AC/DC hold a similar view.
Record companies, on the other hand, find selling individual tracks easier, and hence more profitable, than selling whole albums. A position borne out by the fact that a lot of albums are little more than a fistful of songs crammed together under a title--with little or no thought to musical integrity. Consumers, for some strange reason, object to having to buy nine crappy songs just to get one good one, so tend to disfavor the idea of album integrity.
For artists there is a money issue as well. Whole albums produce more royalties for artists than do single tracks. Being able to control presentation would give artists additional leverage with record companies, giving this ruling greater significance.
The ruling doesn’t put an end to Pink Floyd in digital form. As far as EMI sees things, the court didn’t prohibit it from single track sales, so it’s single track business as usual, even for Pink Floyd, until EMI is told otherwise.