Apple close to offering Beatles music via iTunes Store

“Apple is close to signing an exclusive deal with The Beatles to put its music on iTunes, despite the troubled legal history between the two,” Rob Jones reports for Personal Computer World.

“If signed, this would be a major coup for Apple, as The Beatles have to date refused to let any online music store offer legal downloads of their songs,” Jones reports. “It could also see the end of legal wrangles stemming from the fact that the Beatles set up a company called Apple Corps, which pre-dates the computer company.”

Jones reports, “The Beatles’ music is among the most popular in the world for illegal downloads, so if a deal is struck, would generate huge revenues for Apple. It would also boost iPod sales as well as the number of downloads through iTunes.”

Jones reports, “According to Fortune, David Munns, head of EMI North America, has said the back catalogue would be available for legal downloads soon, and it is believed Apple exec Steve Jobs is close to getting a time-limited exclusive deal, preventing other music sites from initially being able to offer The Beatles songs online. Any deal struck with iTunes would be worth tens of millions of dollars, it said.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Fortune: Apple close to landing exclusive iTunes Store deal with The Beatles – November 27, 2006
The Beatles stream ‘LOVE’ album for free online – November 17, 2006
The Beatles catalog to be available for download ‘soon’ – November 13, 2006
Apple will do ‘everything we can’ to lure The Beatles to iTunes Music Store – May 10, 2006
Apple Computer beats Beatles in trademark court battle, Beatles plan to appeal – May 08, 2006
Report: Apple vs. Apple judgement to be handed down May 8th – April 28, 2006
Apple Corps confirms plans to offer remastered Beatles songs for downloading, ‘no firm date yet’ – April 13, 2006
Beatles’ Apple vs. Jobs’ Apple closing arguments; judge’s ruling due toward end of April – April 05, 2006
Apple vs. Apple likely be in judge’s hands by Wednesday – April 03, 2006
Apple lawyer: ‘Even a moron in a hurry’ can tell difference between iTunes and Beatles’ Apple Corps – March 30, 2006
Apple vs. Apple opening arguments begin in UK High Court – March 29, 2006
Beatles’ Apple vs. Jobs’ Apple goes to UK High Court this Wednesday – March 26, 2006
Apple Computer and The Beatles’ AppleCorp should stop fighting in court and work together instead – July 27, 2005
Beatles vs. Apple Computer: outcome is far from a lock for Beatles – September 30, 2004
Apple vs. Apple settlement to result in iTunes Music Store Beatles exclusive? – September 23, 2004
Apple’s iTunes Music Store to land exclusive Beatles deal? – September 20, 2004
Apple vs. Beatles could be solved with fat check and spinning off iTunes from Apple Computer – September 17, 2004
Apple’s settlement with Beatles could be ‘biggest settlement in legal history’ – September 13, 2004
The Beatles to sell songs via Apple iTunes Music Store? – June 09, 2004
Apple loses: Apple v. Beatles to be heard in Britain – April 06, 2004
Beatles’ Apple vs. Jobs’ Apple; 1991 agreement allows for ‘data transmission services, even music’ – February 26, 2004
Apple Computer to contest Beatles’ U.K. lawsuit in court today – February 25, 2004
Jobs: Apple vs. Apple ‘could drag on for years – it’s unfortunate because we love the Beatles’ – September 28, 2003
Forbes: Apple vs. Apple; iTunes Music Store just might end up with exclusive Beatles deal – September 12, 2003
Sosumi: more on the Beatles’ lawsuit against Apple Computer, Inc. – September 12, 2003
The Beatles sue Apple Computer over iPod, iTunes – September 12, 2003
The Beatles’ Apple Records could be gearing up for fight with Apple Computer – August 12, 2003
The Beatles gearing up for a fight over Apple’s iTunes Music Store – June 03, 2003


  1. With the Beatles/iTunes stories and the iPhone stories, how many of them are just making guesses based on other stories that are based on guesses? It’s like the old “telephone” game, where one person passes on to the next person. Where did it start? How do we know that it was not pulled from the rectum of some analyst?

    I’ll wait to hear more proof positive on these types of stories.

  2. This will add the the clout of itunes and Apple in the music industry.
    whether or not you like the Beatles doesn’t matter.
    This will be big news and Apple is right in the middle of it.
    If Microsoft got the deal first, it would suck for Apple.

  3. I heard on a PodCast (can’t recall which) that the British copyright laws changed (or are about to) and limit the length before things go into the public domain. The Beatles stuff is old and now has a limited time to make hay before it’s all public, Could have something to do with the sudden movement on the Beatles front.

  4. Oooh. This could make for some nice promotions for the Christmas season.

    If they can roll it out in time.

    How about “The Compleat Compleat Beatles Digital” catalog?

    All the 13 or so original British albums, the weird thing they did a few years ago with John’s tapes. The even weirder “Love” thing they are promoting now. All sorts of extras etc.

    What would that cost? Like $250 or more?

    They could sell it as a pre-order even. With a gift card. You know how many, guessing here, but I bet I’m right, wives would buy that for their Beatle-geek husbands? Along with a new iPod.

    Big cash money for bits that would get downloaded over a few weeks.

  5. PXLated: British recorded music copyright expires after 50 years, so the Beatles records will start coming into the public domain in about seven years. Record companies are lobbying to have this increased, but nothing has happened… yet.

  6. “I heard on a PodCast (can’t recall which) that the British copyright laws changed (or are about to) and limit the length before things go into the public domain. The Beatles stuff is old and now has a limited time to make hay before it’s all public, Could have something to do with the sudden movement on the Beatles front.”

    Thats only in the UK. Copyright laws in the US extend 95 years.
    Either way they should just get the damn stuff out there and start making money from it. It would also be a nice time to introduce a higher bitrate.

    Also would be cool to see a Beatles iPod with and laser etched back case that has cover artwork from an album cover like Revolver or Let it Be.

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