General Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

The Beatles are now on iTunes... how did that happen?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7999points) November 22nd, 2010

Did Michael Jackson sell the rights or something? What happened with that, since they haven’t ever been on there before?

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Actually, the Beatles still owned the rights. It was a long-time goal of Apple to have the Beatles available through itunes. There was some acrimony because of alleged trademark infringement by Apple Computers on Apple Records. Finally, they just got the deal done.

iamthemob's avatar

I thought it was based on the fact that Michael Jackson’s estate was probably releasing some of the properties – @marinelife – where did you hear that the Beatles still owned the rights? I have heard throughout my adult life that Michael Jackson had purchased them…

marinelife's avatar

“The recording rights belong to the band’s longtime label, EMI. Most of the publishing rights, on the other hand, are held by Sony/ATV (a joint venture with the late Michael Jackson). Complicating matters even further, additional publishing rights for certain tunes are held by Harrissongs, an independent entity set up by George Harrison, as well as by Starr’s publishing company, Startling Music.”


iamthemob's avatar

That’s along the lines of what I thought – so it seems that the original recordings being released digitally wasn’t related to the publishing rights held by Michael Jackson.

Thanks for the clarification!

Summum's avatar

The publishing rights were bought by MJ in an Auction for them and other songs. Paul wanted to buy back the rights but could not come up with enough to out bid Michael. He paid 47.5 million for the publishing rights.Michael was recieveing 50% of the royalties for most of the Beatle songs.

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