Negotiations have bogged down between Apple Inc. and The Beatles, according to reports Tuesday.
The BBC said Paul McCartney is still pushing for the band’s music to be available through Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) service.
EMI, the band’s former record label, would have to agree to a deal along with Apple Corps, which was set up by The Beatles to manage their body of work.
In March British media reports said McCartney agreed to make the group’s catalog of songs available on iTunes for about $400 million.
The deal would include payment of royalties to McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison, the newspaper reported.
Some payments might also go to Michael Jackson and to EMI and Sony Corp. because of various ownership agreements linked to some of the songs.
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From Rolling Stone:
A ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board tomorrow could spell trouble for Apple’s iTunes. The National Music Publisher’s Association has asked for a 66 percent increase on the royalty rate paid out on the sales of digital music — from nine cents per track to 15 cents. In a statement submitted to the board last year, Apple warned that they may shutter digital-music service iTunes if the request was approved. Apple already pays 70 cents of each song purchase to the record companies, who aren’t willing to pay for the increase themselves. Since they would essentially be operating the service at a loss, Apple would rather shut the store down than raise their prices beyond 99 cents per track. While it’s hard to fathom that Apple would close the world’s most successful digital music store — possibly cutting into the sales of iPods and iPhones, where they make their real money — the fee hike would definitely have some adverse effects, most likely on the consumers’ wallets.
Yesterday at Apple’s “Let’s Rock” conference in San Francisco, the company announced a whole slate of new additions for iTunes and iPods. On the iPod front, the non-touch versions will find the 80GB models upgraded to 120GB, but the 160GB model is being discontinued. There’s also a new style iPod nano, an aluminum, monolithic-looking device that was called “the thinnest iPod ever.” You can still load photos and videos, but now you can view them horizontally on the nano in the new “landscape” mode, which also allows it to do the Cover Flow. It’ll be available in a whole rainbow of colors (except white) starting today. On the iTunes front, iTunes 8.0 will be available today, which introduces an in-window sidebar called “Genius,” which is like a smarter Party Shuffle with a hint of On-The-Go and and Pandora thrown in. Also, for fans of NBC, Apple and the network are once again friends, meaning you will once again be able to view your 30 Rock on a seven-centimeter screen soon. And last but not least, Apple have finally altered their in-ear headphones, with two drivers in each bud. Says Steve Jobs: “They finally got it right.”