Feeds

Norway's national broadcaster breaks Beatles download deadlock

Till Beatles say Let it Be

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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 three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.