Beatles left out of iTunes-EMI deal
Vail, CO Colorado
April 2, 2007
— EMI Group PLC on Monday announced a deal that will allow computer
company Apple Inc. to sell the record company’s songs online without
copy protection software.
Customers of Apple’s iTunes store will
soon be able to play downloaded songs by the Rolling Stones, Norah
Jones, Coldplay and other top-selling artists without the copying
restrictions once imposed by their label.
EMI Chief Executive Eric Nicoli said The Beatles music catalog is excluded from the deal, but said the company was “working on it.” He declined to set a time frame for negotiations over the catalog.
announcement followed calls by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs earlier
this year for the world’s four major record companies, including EMI,
to start selling songs online without copy protection software.
software, known as digital rights management, or DRM, was designed to
combat piracy by preventing unauthorized copying, but can make
downloading music difficult for consumers…
The iTunes music
store will begin offering EMI’s entire catalog — apart from The Beatles
— without DRM software starting next month, he said.
acted as the distributor for The Beatles since the early 1960s, but The
Beatles’ music holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., has so far declined
to allow the Fab Four’s music on any Internet music services, including
The situation was exacerbated by a long-running
trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps. That legal feud
was resolved in February when the two companies agreed on joint use of
the apple logo and name, a deal many saw as paving the way for an
agreement for online access to the Fab Four’s songs.
Apple Corps was founded by the Beatles in 1968 and is still owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono (widow of John Lennon), and the estate of George Harrison.