Beatles Songs on iTunes?

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According to Starpulse, the Beatles catalog is in the process of being remastered for distribution on iTunes.

"We're remastering the whole Beatles catalog, just to make it sound brighter and better and getting proper booklets to go with each of the packages. I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters. It would be better to wait and try to do them both simultaneously so that you then get the publicity of the new masters and the downloading, rather than just doing it ad hoc."
This was reportedly revealed in court by Neil Aspinall of Apple Corps record label during the Apple Corps vs. Apple Computer trademark dispute. No confirmation is available at this time.
 

hoppo99

macrumors member
May 8, 2005
74
0
London, UK
The accuracy of this seems dubious, surely it would have been reported elsewhere first! Hopefully the case will resolve will Apple Computer making some sort of good will pecuniary concession to Apple Corps., who will in turn provide the Beatles back catalogue available exclusively on iTunes for 3-6 months. This case is about money after all and a resolution like this would benefit both parties.
 

Jerry Spoon

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2002
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Historic St. Charles
How many other artists have we seen not on itms and then later put up loads of their work. RHCP for one and I was eagerly awaiting their work so I could buy a couple of cd's that I had lost or ruined.

The same is true of the Beatles. They're in it to make a buck and I'm sure this litigation didn't stop them from seeing that they would need to get their work ready for itms eventually, so why not get it ready now and put it up as soon as the litigation is over.
 

nostaws

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2006
454
213
I know some people have floated this idea previously - but Apple Computer has a lot of cash - How much would it cost to just buy Apple Corp?

Seriously, they would rid themselves of these annoying law suits and lawyers fees that pop up every few years. Not to mention not having to every worry about crossing into the music arena.

Then spin the company off (a la filemaker) and expand beyond the beetles catalog, and have it be more of an idie producer of music. It might even be cool if they exclusively promoted British indie bands to extend the legacy of the Beetles to future musicians.

Give some noname acts access to itunes. And create synergy between Steve, Paul, Ringo and future stars
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
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I see that the only source of this story is World Entertainment News Network. The stories they distribute are purely gossip, with no fact checking involved. Treat this like a Digitimes story, only light amusement unless a real source verifies it.

For fun, here is their "news" feed.

nostaws said:
I know some people have floated this idea previously - but Apple Computer has a lot of cash - How much would it cost to just buy Apple Corp?
Apple Corps Ltd. is owned by the Beatles and their heirs. It's certainly not going to be sold while any of them are still alive.
 

macnews

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2003
601
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Idaho
Frack the Apple corps. I have all my Beetles songs in iTunes just clicked "import cd". Problem solved.

Granted, I highly suspect this won't happen given the current lawsuit and what has been said. Eventually, sure but I think it is going to take a year or so after the lawsuit is over for the losing party to get their panties unbunched.
 

Kernow

macrumors 65816
Sep 30, 2005
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My copyright law is a little rusty (i.e. non-existent), but who would have the final say as to whether Beatles songs could be used on iTunes? iMeowbot says that Apple Corps is owned by the remaining Beatles and their heirs, but does Apple Corps own the rights to all the Beatles songs. I could be imagining it, but I thought that Michael Jackson owned the rights to some of the songs at one point, or is this something else entirely?
 

waveman216

macrumors newbie
Mar 8, 2006
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And someday Apple will use Intel chips and allow us to run Windows on their computers. What a buncha crap.
 

mproud

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2003
164
0
If the Beatles are making their way to the iTMS then surely the two parties are coming to an agreement in court.
 

mproud

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2003
164
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Kernow said:
My copyright law is a little rusty (i.e. non-existent), but who would have the final say as to whether Beatles songs could be used on iTunes? iMeowbot says that Apple Corps is owned by the remaining Beatles and their heirs, but does Apple Corps own the rights to all the Beatles songs. I could be imagining it, but I thought that Michael Jackson owned the rights to some of the songs at one point, or is this something else entirely?
Such a move would only be allowed with permission by Apple Corps.

MJ used to own some of the rights, but has long since sold them off, if I remember correctly.
 

dashiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2003
876
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michael jackson owned/owns (there seems to be some debate) the publishing rights to the beatles songs. so whenever anyone, including the former beatles, want to release an album, concert program, book that has lyrics or the music tabs they owe jackson or whomever now owns those rights.

apple corps should really get over themselves they stand to make a lot more money working with apple than suing them over some dubious legal agreement some 20 years ago.

apple records grants apple computer an exclusive contract for the entire re-mastered beatles catalog; apple creates a limited edition "white album" ipod which much like the U2 ipod comes with a coupon for the beatles digital box set that includes all albums, all singles, all movies, etc... apple agrees in a special one time deal that all profit from beatles ipod sales goes to apple records.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
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Kernow said:
My copyright law is a little rusty (i.e. non-existent), but who would have the final say as to whether Beatles songs could be used on iTunes? iMeowbot says that Apple Corps is owned by the remaining Beatles and their heirs, but does Apple Corps own the rights to all the Beatles songs. I could be imagining it, but I thought that Michael Jackson owned the rights to some of the songs at one point, or is this something else entirely?
There are two kinds of copyright involved. One is for the composition (the underlying words and music) and the other is for sound recordings.

The Lennon-McCartney compositions (and some Harrison works) were published by a company they set up called Northern Songs Ltd. This is the company that ended up under the control of ATV (which in turn is now controlled by Sony). The Beatles and their families still get royalties whenever these compositions is used, but they do not have real control over where they are used.

Apple Corps Ltd. owns the Beatles' sound recordings (and a few others) and some related trademarks and artwork. The families do have a fair amount of control over where this material is used.

There is a reasonable accounting of Northern at Wackypedia, also one for Apple Corps. I see some errors in those articles about holding companies (some of the ownership relationships are reversed), but it's close enough for a general idea.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Note the "woulds" when he talks about iTunes. If this is even true, the way I read it is that the music is being re-mastered--NOT "for iTunes"--but that it WOULD make it a good time to go iTunes if that were to happen. (Which I'm inclined to doubt but we'll see.)

And the mention of booklets says nothing about PDFs--probably just CD booklets. (But I wish more iTunes albums had PDF liner notes.)
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,100
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Bay Area
If it stops the lawsuit (because it signals an agreement has been reached) I'm all for it. Otherwise, I couldn't care less.
 

Kernow

macrumors 65816
Sep 30, 2005
1,438
0
Kingston-Upon-Thames
iMeowbot said:
There are two kinds of copyright involved. One is for the composition (the underlying words and music) and the other is for sound recordings.

The Lennon-McCartney compositions (and some Harrison works) were published by a company they set up called Northern Songs Ltd. This is the company that ended up under the control of ATV (which in turn is now controlled by Sony). The Beatles and their families still get royalties whenever these compositions is used, but they do not have real control over where they are used.

Apple Corps Ltd. owns the Beatles' sound recordings (and a few others) and some related trademarks and artwork. The families do have a fair amount of control over where this material is used.
Gotcha. I thought it would be something these lines. Thanks :)
 

50548

Guest
Apr 17, 2005
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Currently in Switzerland
iMeowbot said:
There are two kinds of copyright involved. One is for the composition (the underlying words and music) and the other is for sound recordings.

The Lennon-McCartney compositions (and some Harrison works) were published by a company they set up called Northern Songs Ltd. This is the company that ended up under the control of ATV (which in turn is now controlled by Sony). The Beatles and their families still get royalties whenever these compositions is used, but they do not have real control over where they are used.

Apple Corps Ltd. owns the Beatles' sound recordings (and a few others) and some related trademarks and artwork. The families do have a fair amount of control over where this material is used.

There is a reasonable accounting of Northern at Wackypedia, also one for Apple Corps. I see some errors in those articles about holding companies (some of the ownership relationships are reversed), but it's close enough for a general idea.
This is partly wrong; there is no difference in the copyrights involved in Beatles songs. By definition, what is protected is something called "musical composition", which comprises both lyrics and sound arrangements/recordings; and originally, this protection is always in the hands of the authors.

So the issue is not about "two copyrights"; copyright, as a "droit d'auteur", involves several modalities of utilization. It's up to the author to license/sell them or not, as happened in the case of the Lennon-Macca duo, by means of the Northern Songs as PRODUCER...

What happened (although I don't have the details of the deal) is that MJ (or Sony now, dunno) got the rights partially linked to phonographic production (these must have been licensed by Lennon-Macca), comprising reproduction and distribution of their songs in general. That's why you never listen to the majority of Beatles songs in radios, apart from "Something" and others that belong to Harrisongs et al.

Going back on topic, I would love to see the Beatles on iTunes...this would settle the legal hurdles once and for all, and give iTunes a GREAT edge over any other music store in the market.
 

kenaustus

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2003
372
11
Maybe Apple Corps actually started about how well the U2 iPod sold as well as over a billion songs sold on iTunes to date. Maybe they are actually trying to get their act together in the event that the judge isn't too impressed with their crying about how much they are hurt. Let the judge rule in Apple Corps favor, but then award Apple Corps one pence for their suffering.

Whoever has been advising the Beatles on the iPod/iTunes movement obviously misjudged big time. Lots of lost dollars to date from that screw up. They also didn't understand that everything the Beatles have recorded has been passed around the internet free for years.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
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BRLawyer said:
This is partly wrong; there is no difference in the copyrights involved in Beatles songs. By definition, what is protected is something called "musical composition", which comprises both lyrics and sound arrangements/recordings; and originally, this protection is always in the hands of the authors.

So the issue is not about "two copyrights"; copyright, as a "droit d'auteur", involves several modalities of utilization. It's up to the author to license/sell them or not, as happened in the case of the Lennon-Macca duo, by means of the Northern Songs as PRODUCER...
No, you are missing several important aspects. Permission to use the recordings is contingent upon permission to use the underlying compositions, but those rights were already settled by pre-existing contracts long before the ATV buyout.

It is most definitely not correct to assume that the author of a composition receives rights to do arbitrary things with recordings of those compositions. The rights to those are indeed distinct.

Northern Songs is the publisher for most of those works, but not the producer. The producer is EMI or Apple for virtually all those recordings, with control largely in the hands of Apple Corps.

What happened (although I don't have the details of the deal) is that MJ (or Sony now, dunno) got the rights partially linked to phonographic production (these must have been licensed by Lennon-Macca), comprising reproduction and distribution of their songs in general. That's why you never listen to the majority of Beatles songs in radios, apart from "Something" and others that belong to Harrisongs et al.
Except that those other songs do turn up on radio, and frequently. I wish that some of the oldies stations would take a break from incessantly playing "In My Life". Are you at all familiar with compulsory licenses?
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,981
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The Centennial State
iMeowBot, I'm still confused. If some company (maybe Apple Computers, maybe someone else) wants to release online versions of the Beatles' catalog, who do they have to license it from? Apple Records or Sony/ATV Music Publishing?
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
dejo said:
iMeowBot, I'm still confused. If some company (maybe Apple Computers, maybe someone else) wants to release online versions of the Beatles' catalog, who do they have to license it from? Apple Records or Sony/ATV Music Publishing?
Both, if it is a recording of a Beatles performance.

Apple Corps will not have much say when it is someone else's recording of a Beatles song, that's why there are plenty of those on iTMS.

This wouldn't be quite so complicated for the download services if something like them existed at the time all those songs were created. All the old contracts were really geared toward physical records, radio, film and performance. Newer contracts can take streams and downloads into account and avoid some of the mess.
 

phatpat88

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2005
55
0
Kingsly said:
First windows on a mac, now The Beatles on iTunes! Looks like Hell froze over, folks.

seriously, is this the end of the world as we know it?

next the israelis and palestinians will be singing christian rock together.
 
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