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EMI sues BlueBeat.com over Beatles digital downloads

The Beatles are in black, and BlueBeat may be feeling blue
The Beatles are in black, and BlueBeat may be feeling blue (Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis)

The Beatles' catalogue is still available for free streaming and digital download purchase on BlueBeat.com - despite the fact that EMI is now suing the US-based website.

EMI, which distributes The Beatles' recordings via an agreement with Apple Corps, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the company Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles. "EMI has not authorized content to be sold on BlueBeat," a representative for EMI told MusicRadar.

The Beatles recordings - which have been recently remastered and issued as lavish box sets in both stereo and mono - are being sold on BlueBeat for as little as 25 cents (15p) a track.

"EMI has not authorized content to be sold on BlueBeat" an EMI rep to MusicRadar

According to Variety, representatives of Media Rights Technologies (owners of Bluebeat) recently wrote to the Librarian of Congress asking that the webcasting licenses of such firms as iTunes, Pandora and MSN Music be revoked on piracy grounds.

"MRT will not condone copyright infringement nor risk infringement liability for our customers and partners. Until Apple is fully compliant with government regulations, iTunes will not be permitted on our sites," said Hank Risan, co-founder and CEO of MRT.

Will this be a long and winding road in the courts? We shall see.

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.