Confusion Surrounds Potential Beatles Launch On Apple's iTunes

Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, mentioned during an interview on Sky News that the Beatles entire back catalogue would be release on iTunes but this apparently cause Apple's PR and Legal departments to go ballistic.

So much so that they have had Sky news remove the said-interview from all its websites and may have used their contacts at Google to get the search giant to clean Sky.com's cache from any mention. The only traces remaining on Google are the first paragraph and the title of the interview article.

Today is not only the day when Apple is set to have its iPod and iTunes press conference, 9/9/9 is also when EMI will release the complete works of the Beatles as a remastered "oeuvre d'art" which has been painstakingly reworked throughout.

Releasing both Beatles on iTunes and on Vinyl and/or CD simultaneously could pit both versions against one another and harm sales.

This could be the reason why Ernesto Schmitt, EMI’s global catalog president, told the FT that “Conversations between Apple and EMI are ongoing and we look forward to the day when we can make the music available digitally. But it’s not tomorrow.”

But there could be another more sombre reason why there could be no Beatles launch on iTunes this time around.

As Peter Doggett, writing for the BBC, rightly pointed out, "the Beatles' catalogue is virtually the last crown jewel in the vault [of the records industry]. If, as is widely expected, it is finally made available for digital download, then you can guarantee that it will also fuel a huge illegal market in MP3s."

Our Comments

Apple and Apple Corp which owns the rights to the Beatles catalog have had two decades of fierce rivalry; Apple Corp initially sued Apple Computers over naming rights which ended up with Apple paying Apple Corp and promising not to enter in the music market, a promise it broke back in 2001.

Related Links

Beatles on iTunes - are you really that bothered?

(Guardian)

You Never Give Me Your Money

(Telegraph)

Anticipation builds ahead of Apple event

(Times Online)

Ono! Sky lets Apple's Beatles secret slip

(Press Association)

Apple might offer a `Cocktail’ of new iPods and music

(Sky News)