Ono says no Beatles download deal imminent

By | Published on Monday 9 August 2010

Yoko Ono has indicated that there is no imminent deal to get the Beatles catalogue onto licensed music platforms, while indicating that issues with market leading download store iTunes may be apart of the delay.

Asked about when the Fab Four’s music would properly appear online, Ono said: “[Apple CEO] Steve Jobs has his own idea and he’s a brilliant guy [but] there’s just an element that we’re not very happy about, as people. We are holding out. [So] don’t hold your breath … for anything!”

Paul McCartney has previously indicated that, despite them having past legal disputes over the ‘Apple’ trademark, the problem wasn’t now between Beatles company Apple Corps and iTunes owners Apple Inc. Rather, there were still unresolved issues between Apple Corps and EMI, who together control the band’s music. Although Ono didn’t really comment on the London-based major in her Reuters interview, her comments imply there are issues outside the Apple Corps/EMI partnership.

She did, however, insist that past tensions between the owners of Apple Corps – her, Olivia Harrison, Ringo Starr and McCartney – were not to blame. She said that any internal fighting was a thing of the past because “we’re older and more experienced” now.

Of course, even if no deal can be done over the Beatles digital catalogue, in the next few years many of their songs will be able to appear on European digital services anyway, because – change in copyright law pending – they’ll start to come out of copyright.