back to article EMI puts Abbey Road under the silver hammer?

EMI has reportedly put its iconic Abbey Road recording studio up for sale in an effort to pay off some of its hefty debts. According to this morning's Financial Times, which cites no less than "five people familiar with the situation", the struggling major is seeking bidders to buy the studio. However, the report was unable …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abbey Road the brand?

    excuse me? wtf is Abbey Road the brand, and why would EMI own any rights to it?

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    EMI 1929

    Hmm, even Abbey Road's own website says that the building was originally bought by EMI in 1929. That would seem a tad difficult, since EMI wasn't created until 1931 by the merger of the Columbia Gramophone Company and The Gramophone Company (who owned Abbey Road).

    Interestingly here, the Wibblepedia says that The Gramophone Company aquired Abbey Road in 1931.....shurely shome mishtake?

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Not a mistake

    It's called "rewriting history".

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Here we have what is most likely the REAL reason why the entertainment industries are pushing for a government bailout. Not because of piracy, but because they've been spending like crazy over the last decade and now they're riddled in debt and don't know what to do.

    This just reminds me that all the Beatles songs from the 1960s are still (!) under copyright by EMI, and they'll be under copyright until after our generation is long dead. Talk about HOLDING CULTURE BACK for a bunch of bloody corporates!! Despicable!

  5. FIA
    Thumb Up


    ...copyright on recorded works expire 50 years after release[1], so making a copy of that Beatles LP pressed in the 60s will very soon be legal.


  6. Steve Roper

    Re: Doesn't

    No, the Berne standard copyright term is LIFE + 50 years. Which means that the Beatles songs won't go out of copyright until 50 years AFTER the last Beatle dies. Given that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still going strong and probably will for at least the next 10-20 years, don't expect to see any Beatles songs enter the public domain until at least around 2070 - 2080.

    Of course, by then Disney and its ilk will have pushed the copyright term to something like life + 500 years. As long as these greedy fucking bastards are in control of our governments, nothing created after Mickey Mouse will ever enter the public domain again.

    Current copyright law is an absolute obscenity. That someone could live the parasitic life of bloody riley on the royalties from a song their great-great-grandfather wrote 120 years ago is nothing more than plain, simple greed.

  7. Cameron Colley

    So home taping really is killing music?

    Well I never, it seems that the RIAA are correct -- the music industry is dying.

    To slightly echo the comments of an AC above -- surely the "Abbey Road" brand, if there is such a thing, would belong to the City Of Westminster?

  8. Graham Bartlett

    Worth how much?

    Newsflash - it's worth what you can get out of it. Given that all recording studios have been haemorrhaging money for the last 20 years since it became cheaper for bands to own their own recording gear than to hire a studio, and especially in the last decade since recording gear came into the price bracket of hobbyists, somewhere like Abbey Road is only really useful as a brand. It's not earning enough to cover building maintenance and pay the engineers working on recordings, never mind also providing a cut for investors stumping up millions. Unfortunately the only way they'll make money out of it is turning the place into luxury flats.

  9. ravenviz Silver badge


    Just so you know £100,000 in today's money is about £4.5m.

  10. Graham Wilson

    Of course, Abbey Road's failure will have the RIAA blame the pirates.

    Of course, Abbey Road's failure will have the RIAA blame the pirates.

    Be warned the RIAA, BSA et al will not only blame the pirates for this, they'll try to rewrite history and put the pirates at the centre of Abbey Road's collapse. Moreover, they will use it as another excuse to further lobby politicians for tighter copyright and anti-piracy laws. Mark my words!

    Well good riddance. As far as I'm concerned, it's one down and many more to go!

    I'm a classical music fan and I've well over a 1500 legit CDs bought some time between when CDs first came out and say 2000. I've not bought anything since as classical music is essentially set in history and so there's bugger-all that's new.

    What really irks me off is that this is round two. My CD collection replaces an earlier vinyl collection of similar number which now gathers dust.

    1. In both cases (CD and vinyl) I had to pay outrageous prices on these recording that I can now get for 20% of the original price (often secondary labels offloaded from the mail copyright owner--EMI for instance--can be bought for even less).

    2. Where I've duplicates on both vinyl and CDs (and that's quite a few) I've had to pay both Mechanical Performance Rights (just about the greatest scam of all time) and copyrights TWICE just because I changed from one media format to another.

    3. The people who are supposed to benefit from copyright--the artists who performed the works and/or the music's composer--usually only got about 7% of the recording's retail sale price. Somehow or other these slimy middlemen managed to rip off 93% of the retail price for themselves.

    4. They've exploited BOTH ends of the market. I the consumer have been ripped off and so has the performing artist.

    5. This kind of exploitation has been going on for about 114 years since the Berne copyright convention of 1886 when they got this sham convention going without us, the copyright-paying public, being involved at all. They won carte blanche to do whatever they wanted, and they certainly did but it was at our expense.

    6. Between the time I started purchasing recordings and today a much more savvy music consumer has evolved. These consumers are savvy of the internet and of the fact the record companies have been double-dipping on media duplication since the inception of recording, not to mention double dipping both ends of the market. These new consumers won't stand for that crap anymore. Consumers have finally awaken and as a result we're seeing the EMIs of this world beginning to go the way of the dodo and dinosaurs.

    As far as I'm concerned it can't happen quickly enough. I've been ripped off too many times over very many years by these sharks to be the slightest concerned (as you'd know from M$, monopolies always do that).

    Now that I can see the beginning of their demise, I'm thoroughly indulging in a good dose of schadenfreude.


  11. Anonymous Coward

    You get what you pay for.

    If you want Abbey Road to a continue as a high quality facility for creating sound recordings, then the investors in those recordings need to see a return on their investment.

    So yes, piracy is a problem. It means less money going into recordings.

    "Consumers have finally awaken" = I think you mean "consumers have finally realised they don't need to pay for anything".

    But I hope your rant makes you feel better.

  12. Cameron Colley

    High quality sound recordings aren't needed.

    The mastering engineer is just instructed to brick-wall it all so that it sounds louder than that women who looks ugly from XY chromosome factor.

    Real music goes nowhere near these big-label parasites any more.

  13. unitron

    Make it a (teaching) museum

    Sir Paul's still got enough left to buy it up, doesn't he?

  14. Jonathan Hogg
    Jobs Horns

    Apple (Computer Inc) should buy it...

    ...and go into the music business.

    Oh wait!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Big blue plaque building for Sir George Martin

    Sir George Martin was at Abbey Road before The Beatles were there.

    Sir George Martin was at Abbey Road while The Beatles were there.

    Sir George Martin was at Abbey Road after The Beatles were there.

    It would seem entirely appropriate for Sir Paul and Sir George to sort something out between them to add Abbey Road studios to the AIR Studios (founder: Sir George Martin) portfolio. So long as EMI don't make much out of the deal.

    Sir George Martin, we are not worthy. Thank you, more than you will ever know.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018