Feeds

Norway's national broadcaster breaks Beatles download deadlock

Till Beatles say Let it Be

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Updated A Norwegian broadcaster is claiming to be responsible for making The Beatles' entire back catalogue available for download for the first time. The downloads are free because they form part of Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) podcasts.

The Beatles is one of the few bands that has held out from licensing its music for digital downloading through online shops such as iTunes. NRK has said that it has now made the music available for free thanks to a deal made with Norwegian music rights authority TONO.

That deal gives NRK the right to publish free podcasts that contain music, as long as that music does not make up more than 70 per cent of the content of the podcast.

NRK is now putting online a series of programmes it made in 2001 called 'Our daily Beatles'. Each of the 212 episodes involves a three minutes story about each track, followed by the full track.

"This is - as far as we know – the first time you can download the Beatles’ music legally. Neither iTunes nor Amazon have The Beatles in their music stores," said a NRK announcement. "The first episodes are already in the podcast."

"In this series from 2001, journalists Finn Tokvam [and] Bård Ose [tell] the story of every single Beatles track ever made, chronologically," it said. "Each episode contains a 3 minute story about each track (sadly for our international visitors – in Norwegian) and the actual Beatles tune."

NRK is the state-owned broadcaster. It employs 3,500 people and consists of three television and three main radio stations.

NRK's deal would not be possible under a UK podcasting licence. The UK's collecting society, the MCPS/PRS Alliance, issues licences for the use of music in podcasts. It involves the payment of 0.15p per track for each downloaded podcast, or the payment of a share of earnings.

The Alliance will not issue a licence for any podcast in which more than 50 per cent of the music used is by one artist, which would rule out NRK's 'Our daily Beatles' programmes. The licence also stipulates that the podcast must contain speech, and that the speech must be spread throughout the programme.

The NRK programmes will only be available for a short time, however. "Podcast containing music may be up for four weeks, while our podcast without music stay up on our server forever," said the NRK announcement. 

Bootnote

Sadly, it seems NRK slightly misread the license agreement and the service has, apparently been pulled. Still, a great idea while it lasted.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?