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Apple iTunes And The Beatles Still Not Near An Agreement

by Sean P. Aune | August 7, 2010August 7, 2010 11:00 am PDT

You would think at some point the surviving members of The Beatles would say “Fine!” and start selling their back catalog on iTunes, but apparently they don’t like money, or just really like the idea of digital piracy.

Since the day Apple began selling music, one of the biggest questions has been, “Where’s The Beatles catalog?”  At first people thought it was the copyright fight over the name “Apple” which lasted until 2007.  The Beatles record label was called Apple Inc., and when Apple (the computer company) came along, they were told they could use the name so long as they never got into selling music.  Once Apple CEO Steve Jobs did just that, Apple Inc. filed a copyright suit against the computer company which was finally settled in 2007.

yoko onoWith that problem out of the way, it would seem that the two companies could come to an agreement about selling the digital version of all of The Beatles’ albums, but they have still yet to materialize.  While promoting a new documentary about John Lennon, his widow Yoko Ono, who owns a quarter of the music rights, told Reuters this week:

“(Apple CEO) Steve Jobs has his own idea and he’s a brilliant guy,” Ono, the 77-year-old widow of John Lennon, told Reuters. “There’s just an element that we’re not very happy about, as people. We are holding out.

“Don’t hold your breath … for anything,” she said with a laugh.

We’re not quite sure on what the problem could be between the two companies, but it has really reached a point of silliness now. Late last year there was a limited edition USB drive released that contained the entire music collection in digital format, so obviously the band is not opposed to the format per se, so it must be something to do with Apple/Jobs.

The easiest thing to point to is it has to be about money, but just how much do The Beatles want?  Is it better to sit back and not make anything while people continue to trade bootleg files online?  If Apple isn’t the solution, than what about Amazon MP3 or any of the other numerous stores selling legitimate music files?

While it would be nice to be able to just log in and purchase the music legally, for the time being people will just continue to trade illegal files out of having no other way to get some of the most famous music ever produced.  I am sure many fans of the band would love to purchase a legal copy of “Yellow Submarine”, but until that time they will be stuck ripping copies (which is considered illegal) from CDs, or just downloading them illegally.

Come on, just sell us the freakin’ music!

What say you?  Are The Beatles turning into their own worst enemy?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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