30 November 2006
And in the middle of negotiations
I figured that the bad blood, or juice, between Steve Jobs' Apple and the Beatles' Apple was a permanent state of affairs, at least since the introduction of the iTunes Store, which would seem, on the face of it, to violate a deal between the two in which basically Jobs was allowed to keep using the name so long as he stayed out of the music business. This spring, a judge ruled that the iTunes Store was a data-transmission service and therefore not in violation of the agreement; of course, that agreement, which was reached in 1991, never anticipated digital music downloads and such.
But apparently Jobs and Apple Corps rep Neil Aspinall have decided to let it be: Fortune says that an agreement to put Beatles material exclusively online at iTunes is on the way.
I have a sinking feeling that, even if this comes off, part of the conditions will be to sell Beatles songs in the dreaded "album only" blocs that various rightsholders (notably for movie soundtracks) demand. So even if you want to pay only 99 cents just for "Taxman", you’ll have to pony up $9.99 (or more?) for the entire Revolver album.
I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be the case, though it won't give me any grief: with the notable exception of the modern-day mashup Love, I have just about everything the band ever released, and a fair number of things they didn't, so there's no particular reason for me to want to spend money for the third time (first there was vinyl, then there was Compact Disc) on these tracks.
(Rejected titles for this piece: "Got to get you into my 'Pod"; "Come together, right now, over $"; "The one after .99"; "Why don't we do it on the Net?")Posted at 9:55 AM to Fileophile