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.

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35 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. “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.

  3. The length of time a work stays out of the public domain hasn’t changed fro 50 years. The reason why it was in the news was because there was a campaign to extend the length of time but this was unsuccessful.

    The reasoning was that performers are living longer and still want to be able to make money from recordings made earlier in their career.

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