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The Beatles Keen On Letting Digital Music Industry Pass Them By

The Beatles Keen On Letting Digital Music Industry Pass Them By

by , 2:00 PM EDT, October 14th, 2003

I hear the clock a'ticking
On the mantel shelf
See the hands a'moving
But I'm by myself

"Don't pass me by," The Beatles, from The White Album

The BBC is reporting that the surviving members of The Beatles have absolutely no plans or interest in putting The Beatles' extensive music catalog online. None. "I have never heard Paul McCartney talking about it," Geoff Baker, a spokesman for The Beatles' record label, Apple Corps, told the BBC. The report shows an amazing lack of interest in the changing music industry from the band and its corporate entity. From the BBC article:

A spokeswoman for publishers EMI told BBC News Online: "The Beatles have chosen not to put their music online."

"I do not know their reasoning."

[...]

Geoff Baker, a spokesman for Apple Corps, told BBC News Online: "We have no plans at the moment to go online." When asked why the former band members were not putting the group's music online, he added: "I do not think there is any reason for it at all."

[...]

Mr Baker said Apple Corps was unaware of any particular demand for the band's music to go online and was unconcerned by the numbers of Beatles' tracks being downloaded by so-called pirates for free. "As far as I am concerned we are doing very well as it is." He said neither of the band members have expressed any interest in online music.

There's more in the full article at the BBC. The Beatles are also in the midst of a lawsuit against Apple Computer over the iTunes Music Store and the iPod. That lawsuit seeks damages from Apple for violating an agreement between Apple Corps and Apple Computer whereby the technology company agreed not to compete in the field of music.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Online distribution is here to stay, though we are only at the beginning of this newest evolution of the music industry. The Beatles seem almost intent on relegating their incredible legacy to irrelevancy. Unlike the move to CDs, which The Beatles deftly milked for all it was worth, what The Beatles are doing now is ensuring that the only way to get their music online is through piracy. The band is driving its perceived value to zero with the next generation of music buyers, and that's just stupid.

Stupid.

Perhaps the band's surviving members and related hangers on are just getting old. It's sad.

The truly ironic thing is that The Stones get it. As Mick Jagger continues to chafe at the fact that many still consider The Beatles to be the world's all-time best rock-n-roll band, instead of his own band, his embrace of online distribution may help The Stones finally surpass the Fab Four in the minds of future music buyers.

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