Yoko: Beatles Coming to iTunes

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Yoko Ono, widow of Beatles member John Lennon, raised a few eye brows by telling Sky News that the band's library is coming to the iTunes Store. EMI, however, was quick to counter her comments and clarify that the Fab Four's library will come to iTunes, just not on September 9.

A Sky News story that quickly disappeared stated "The whole of the Beatles back catalogue will be made available to buy on iTunes, Yoko Ono has told Sky News."

The article apparently didn't include a specific date, but that didn't stop people from assuming the band's library would be included in Apple's announcements during its special press conference scheduled for Wednesday morning.

EMI representatives, however, made it clear that the band's works won't be appearing at the iTunes Store just quite yet, according to the Financial Times. "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," EMI global catalog president, Ernesto Schmitt, commented.

EMI's big concern right now is that the band's works might be pirated and that it could be held liable by the group members.

"If one [EMI] employee decides to take it home and wap it on to the Internet, we would have the right to say, 'Now you recompense us for that.' And they're scared of that," band member Paul McCartney said.

While EMI is worried about how music piracy might impact the company in this instance, the only way people can get the band's music online right now is through piracy since The Beatle's library isn't legitimately available in electronic formats.

EMI hasn't said when it plans to make the group's music available for download, but for now it seems pretty clear it won't be on September 9.

[Thanks to TechCrunch for the heads up.]

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Interesting. Worried about piracy when the CDs themselves are coming out, aren’t they?

What is going to stop someone from ripping them to FLAC and posting them on a torrent site? Isn’t uncompressed audio floating about freely more of a scare to Sir Paul than 256kbps iTunes files that people would actually pay for?

Spock’s head just exploded from the logic.


I am a huge Beatles fan, but last I heard, Paul McCartney was the wealthiest entertainer in the world. The others involved are are filthy rich as well. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t worry about piracy, but why should EMI be more worried about Beatles piracy than piracy of music by musicians to whom money is an object?


EMI and the Beatles are just being cautious. They’re waiting to see if this whole buying music online thing actually catches on.

(Yeah, I’m being sarcastic).

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Oh Yoko,
Oh Yoko,
Let’s get our download on.

In the iTunes search I type your name,
In the iTunes search I type your name,

Oh Yoko,
Oh Yoko,
Let’s get our download on.

Boris Gates

You all have to be less critical.  The whole idea of digital download is still such a new concept that it is entirely understandable that EMI would want to take a wait and see approach.  It is not predictable that people would actually by legitimate digital music copies.  I think it is very reasonable to let the pirates have their day, perhaps in part due to lack of alternative way of getting digital music, and then go after them in court.  Why settle for $16.99 when you can get $1 million plus?  Makes complete sense to me…

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