Feeds

Norway's national broadcaster breaks Beatles download deadlock

Till Beatles say Let it Be

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.