John Lennon's widow tells Reuters: "Don't hold your breath"
Apple (AAPL) settled its trademark dispute with Apple Corps, The Beatles' holding company in February 2007, clearing the way for one of the world's most commercially successful pop bands to put its catalog on iTunes, the world's largest music store.
Three years later, the three parties involved -- Apple, Apple Corps. and EMI, which holds the licensing rights -- have still not managed to hammer out an agreement.
"We are holding out," Yoko Ono, who as John Lennon's widow has veto power over any deal, told Reuters Thursday. "Steve Jobs has his own idea and he's a brilliant guy. There's just an element that we're not very happy about, as people."
"Don't hold your breath ... for anything!" she reportedly said with a laugh.
It's still not clear what's holding things up. Steve Jobs, who counts The Beatles among his favorite bands, has said several times that he's ready to cut a deal. Two years ago Sir Paul McCartney told the press that EMI was the problem. "There are just a couple sticking points," he said. "They [EMI] want something we're not prepared to give them."
Meanwhile, Beatles tunes are being downloaded for free from music sharing sites at the rate of some 100 million songs per year, according to a 2009 estimate.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]
Leave aside for the moment the rumors that Apple Inc. (AAPL) has invited a number of music industry professionals and press to an iPod/iTunes special event on Sept. 9.
We know for a fact that Apple Corps and EMI have scheduled the worldwide release of the original Beatles catalog -- digitally remastered for the first time -- in compact disc format on 09/09/09, an event timed to coincide with MTV Games' MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 19, 2009 8:02 AM ET
Last we checked, the full catalog of Beatles songs was supposed to be available for sale on the iTunes Store before the end of 2008.
Well, it's not happening this year, according to one of the band's two surviving members, and for all we know it may never happen.
"The last word I got back was it's stalled at the whole moment, the whole process," Paul McCartney told reporters gathered Monday for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2008 12:35 PM ET
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