Feeds

Norway's national broadcaster breaks Beatles download deadlock

Till Beatles say Let it Be

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.