by EMI Group

Though the band's new album, In Rainbows is officially in–stores and the "donation–version" was a great success, some of the reasons for Radiohead's acrimonious parting with EMI have come to light. According to the former label:

Radiohead were demanding an extraordinary amount of money and we did not believe that our other artists should have to subsidize their gains.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke disputed the charge plainly saying:

What we wanted was some control over our [master recordings] and how it was used in the future by them. That seemed reasonable to us, and we cared about it a great deal," he continued. "Mr. Hands was not interested. So, neither were we.

Most sources see the dispute as arising from ownership of the band's back catalogue, and it does raise an important issue about the music industry as a whole. Currently, most recordings are funded by labels who then assume full ownership of the recording masters, but many dispute this practice suggesting that the masters like the songs themselves should be owned by the creators.

As artists like Unwritten Law and Reel Big Fish have seen, the ownership of masters allows labels to license recordings and create compilations without the artists involvement or approval.