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back to article Sir Paul McBeatle: 'Me, I'd love Beatles to be on iTunes'

You can blame him for "Band on the Run" or "Ebony and Ivory," but according to Sir Paul McCartney, it's not his fault that the Fab Four's oeuvre isn't available on iTunes. "It's been business hassles," the world's most famous left-handed bass guitarist told the BBC's Newsbeat. "Not with us, or iTunes. It's the people in the …

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Hmmm

EMI Stationary Dept need to order a new box of JFDI forms...

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Jobs Horns

Who owns the rights?

I thought McCartney owned the rights, then sold them to Michael Jackson, who then sold half of them to Sony when he was in debt and then handed over the other half to them once he was in even more debt? So surely Sony have something to do with this, not EMI?

Does anyone know who actually own the rights to The Beatles anymore? Surely, the whole point of setting up Apple was to keep the rights themselves and just let EMI be a distributor?

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Thumb Up

Test

Rip the CDs, put the MP3s on your web site, publish the address of the site on El Reg and see who comes after you...

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Grenade

Rough guess...

...they want to change a stupid amount of money,DRM the songs and generally shaft the buyers of this over rated boy band.

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Anonymous Coward

No

The publishing rights were sold (who gets paid when sheet music is sold, when people cover the song, the rights to the tune and words)

EMI own the mechanical rights, the rights to the recorded sound captured in the 60s in Abbey Road, the actual albums themselves.

So no, Sony are not involved.

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Silver badge

you're thinking of the publishing rights

which belonged to Northern Songs Ltd, originally.

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Gold badge

Rights to what?

There's two rights, rights to the recordings and the rights to the sheet music (the actual song itself).

I doubt any record label would sell rights to the recordings, so I would imagine Jacko had the rights to the music.

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IT Angle

It's complex

..because the rights include the sheet music, the right to perform and the recordings.

I *think* that it was the sheet music and the right to perform the songs published on Northern Songs that was sold (and if I remember my history, it was NOT any of the Beatles who made the decision to sell, it was Allen Klein and the board of Apple Corp. who were in control. The members of the Beatles had a 50% share in Apple Corp, but crucially the casting vote in any split decision went to the Chair of the Board.)

I believe that Sir Paul has since bought at least some of these rights back, even though they always had retained the right to perform the songs themselves.

The ownership of the recordings always remained with EMI, and was one of the cornerstones of their profitability. It is interesting to note the rash of new mastered copies and compilations that appear to be hitting the shelves in the run up to the copyright on the recordings expiring. Is this one of the things that is bringing EMI down?

And Rik. Why the obfuscation about their names. What's wrong with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Richard Starkey?

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Anonymous Coward

Ha

Anyone who refers to the Beatles as an over rated boy band is so far up his own arse he's in danger of disappearing.

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FAIL

IFPI or RIAA

Depends on where you are. Since these orgs work FOR the recording company that holds the keys to the whole mess, you won't know for sure; but your arse will still be in a sling.

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Pirate

So What?

Let's face it. By the time the Beatles catalogue actually gets onto iTunes or any other legal service, anyone who wants the songs would already have them via BitTorrent in FLAC or another lossless format.

By holding out, EMI are just shooting themselves in the foot (again).

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alternatively

by the time the Beatles back-catalogue makes it onto iTunes it'll be out of copyright and in the public domain - assuming copyright isn't made eternal beforehand.

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Or (yet another alternative)

People have simply bought up CDs second-hand and ripped them into the formats of their choosing.

While that may be a challenging proposition for someone devoted to an obscure jazz artist who's popularity peaked in the years either side of 1958, and who had a grand total of 10,000 albums sold world-wide, forever, it's not particularly difficult to pick up the entire Beatles collection over time out of jumble sales and from fellows standing near open car boots, for astoundingly little money. Quite probably less money *per CD* than iTMS charges per track.

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Flame

Sod Off!

"Yoko's husband, one of the top 10,000 guitarists in Liverpool, and Pete Best's replacement "

It wouldn't take much for El Reg to head the way of the Sun and be unread in Liverpool.

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Grenade

So it's not permitted for a journo...

... to have different tastes from you?

Personally, I agree with the journo: The Beatles are overrated and insufferably pretentious. An utter cliché of all that was wrong about the 1960s. Liverpudlians shouldn't be proud of them, but *embarrassed*.

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Silver badge

Yet another Scouse sense-of-humour fail

The most overrated band in history if you ask me.

Go ahead, vote me down if you like, just remember that disagreeing != trolling.

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Anonymous Coward

Overrated?

Yes, actually. And a bit of a dweeby muso's band to boot. I once read a piece by Douglas Adams which took him down a step in my estimation, his argument in favour of the Beatles over the Stones was that the Beatles music was more complex and essentially clever. So what? Music is entertainment for all but the pretentious few. Music is perhaps the one form of art that can entirely bypass the itellect and wire itself straight to your emotions.

Macca is indeed a cracking bass player. Ringo is actually a pretty clever drummer. Most of the songs haven't stood the test of time, although I can understand that some of them were pretty ground breaking at the time. When it comes down to it they were just a pop band, which is fair because nobody had really thought of what came to be known as raawk when they started out. And that's most of where music has moved on since the sixties. Maybe, just maybe, if the Beatles were formed today they would be producing something much better than what they produced back then - mainly because their talent would have so many more influences to call on. However the post Beatles output of all four of them does nothing to support this theory.

Music have moved on and it's amazing how many tracks you once thought of as the complete musical experience sound lightweight and trivial when you revisit them twenty years on.

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Silver badge

Hindsite is a wonderful thing

but having lived through (albeit at a young age), what the Beatles did in the 60's was ground-breaking. It may not appear unique or novel now, but it was then. It is a matter of perspective. I wonder how old the people making the Overrated comments are.

I do not like the Beatles/Stones/Beachboys who's-the-best arguments, because all of them have merit, and there are many more contemporary bands that produced worthy music, but the Beatles were THE wedge in the door that made the record companies look for other talent. This is in the same way that Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly were in their time.

Sometimes the music was pretentious, sometimes twee, sometimes just plain weird (I still can't get my head around Revolution #9 on the White Album), but it was often first of it's type to market. They had the power and influence to put on vinyl what other artists could not, getting the audiences to listen to new types of music. But it was popular then, and even now.

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Rights

The rights were originally assigned to a music publisher (co owned by the Beatles) in the early 60's and passed, variously, through the hands of ATV, some Oz business man, Wacko Jacko & now belonga Sony.

Don't think EMI are to blame. Unless you know differently.....

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The contracts never anticipated digital downloads.

The contracts tend to get complicated and the various rights were probably sold and resold multiple times. And obviously all of those contracts fail to specifically address digital distribution rights.

They pretty much though talking about physical recordings would cover any future technology.

Its possible that legally its a mess.

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Stop

the beatles were $hite

Now I have your attention.....

This excitement about whether or not they get onto iTunes is $hite.

Got to eBay, (there is loads for sale refer to title and you shouldn't buy new CD's as it supports the evil distributors) buy a CD of the Beatles pop it into you CD/DVD Drive launch iTunes and 'Rip'

The Beatles in iTunes and the record companies had nothing to do with it. All this excitement over getting them properly onto iTunes is just another way to get suckers to pay for the same thing yet again.... Tape - Album - CD - MP3 - M4P...

ohhh but t soo clear... its soo lossless....

You only have one set of ears and they will process an M4P in the very same way as a MP3.

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EMI owns the mechanical rights

EMI owns the mechanical rights, ie the rights to the actual recordings.

The publishing rights, ie the songwriting writes, are the ones that were passed around from jackson to sony et al

Therefore its up to EMI wether or not its wants the recordings it owns available on iTunes or not. Though they probably don't want the recordings on iTunes as it would eat into their next tedious boxset release.

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Heart

The recordings themselves are still owned by EMI

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_owns_the_Beatles%27_music&alreadyAsked=1&rtitle=Who_owns_the_rights_to_most_of_the_beatles_music

"Michael Jackson bought the publishing rights to most of the Beatles catalog, but has sold much of it to Sony Music. (There have been rumors that Jackson left his remaining stake to McCartney.) The individual Beatles still retained songwriters rights and we paid for it each time a song in the catalog was licensed.

The recordings themselves are still owned by EMI (distributors of the Beatles' recorded music), and Apple Corps Ltd, the Beatles' own company.

Actually, MJ owns only 50% of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which in turn owns most of the Beatles publishing rights. McCartney, as well as Lennon's estate still retain the songwriting rights and receive about 50% of the ongoing publishing revenues for composing the music."

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Silver badge

I remember

Gimme money, that's what I want.......

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Gold badge

Re: Who owns the rights?

I thought Sony were EMI, or is it the other way round. Anyway, there's all sorts of rights associated with music (performing, publishing, distribution? I don't know, ask a lawyer.), so it doesn't surprise me that some minor player has some minor right that lets them block this.

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Rights

I'd assume that Sony own the rights to the songs, not the recordings.

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Keep this going...

and the copyright'll lapse before it gets on iTunes, then they'll never make money from it.

If record labels were serious about mendng their broken business model this would have been on there 5 years ago.

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So I guess I'll just have to...

download it iligally then? Not that I'd touch *tunes with yours ofc...

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Pete Best's replacement?

Ringo replaced Pete Best, not Paul

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Anonymous Coward

So.

That's what the aricle says:

Yoko's Husband = Paul

One of the top 10,000 pluckers in Liverpool = George

Pete Best's replacement = Ringo.

Read it again slowly, tracing the words with your finger and forming them with your mouth if you like, and then you'll get it. In the mean time, don't mouth off until you've read the article carefully. Saves embarassment.

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Headmaster

Get it right the both of you

Sir Paul = Paul

Yoko's Husband = John

One of the top 10,000 pluckers in Liverpool = George

Pete Best's replacement = Ringo.

Read it again slowly, tracing the words with your finger and forming them with your mouth if you like, and then you'll get it. In the mean time, don't correct someone else mouthing off until you've read the article carefully. Saves embarassment.

Doesn't it just...

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Silver badge

surely, by now...

... anybody who wants a Beatles track has got it. It's not like they're putting out any new stuff.

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WTF?

Baby-faced?

He looks like a scrotum in a wig.

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Joke

do we want to know?

Ok, seriously, how do you know that?

I would say: pictures, but I really don't want that either...

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Dead Vulture

Misleading sub-title, anyone?

I know you lot have it in for Apple Inc, but could that subtitle have been any more misleading?

> EMI: 'Us too'. Jobsians keep schtum

heavily implies that both McCartney and EMI are waiting to resolve some blocking issue by Apple Computer. But the actual article suggests something entirely different. And as for 'Jobsians keep schtum' there's nothing here to suggest you even asked them for a comment.

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Anonymous Coward

Not iTunes

My understanding is that the Beatles' back catalogue is not legally available for download anywhere, not just iTunes. So why are you bringing Apple Inc. into this at all.

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Alert

Will no-one think of Paul?

PLEASE sort this out QUICKLY! Poor, poor Macca needs the money!

</sarcasm>

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Oh great.....

The copyright mafia want us to pay for the Beatles all over again.......

Lets face it, there was only one good sogn writer in the beatles, may he rest in peace.

I remember a comedian taking the piss out of McBeatle, Lennon was just after been shot and McBeatle decided to sing “give peace a chance” at a gig, the audience continued singing for about 5 minutes after Sir Beatle of Kodiak finished. As the comedian remarked,

“can you imagine if it wasn’t John Lennon that been shot?

Do you think John Lennon would have any problem stopping the audience from singing

“Bom bom bom - aye-i-yah”

Or

“Thomas the tank engine was felling rather poorly”

I suspose that if they start selling Wings.... eh..... sounds on the iStore that they will have to refer to them as iTunez

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Anonymous Coward

What's that...?

Ringo replaced George Best you say?

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