Time to give up on The Beatles on iTunes

Yoko Ono dashed hopes The Beatles music will be available on Apple's iTunes music store anytime soon.

If there was any hope left that The Beatles' music would appear on iTunes in this lifetime, Yoko Ono just killed it.

"Don't hold your breath ... for anything," John Lennon's widow told Reuters. Ono is busy promoting LENNONYC, a television documentary about her late husband, but was saavy enough drop a few quotes about the Beatles-iTunes drama, which is always good for some extra attention.

"(Apple CEO) Steve Jobs has his own idea and he's a brilliant guy," Ono, who is now 77 years old, told Reuters. "There's just an element that we're not very happy about, as people. We are holding out."

If you've been following this hopelessly drawn-out story, Ono's remarks should not be surprising. Neither side has definitively explained why music lovers can't legally download Beatles songs, but a few scraps of information suggest that money and fear of piracy are the main sticking points. Paul McCartney has said that EMI is worried about having to recompense The Beatles' camp if digital files are illegally uploaded. The late George Harrison's son, Dhani, once said that Apple's standard 99-cent pricing per iTunes track is too low.

The real problem is more fundamental than either individual issue. Honest consumers are caught in the middle of two parties with extreme feelings of self-importance. Both Apple and The Beatles are certainly entitled to stand their ground -- iTunes is the biggest digital music store in the world and The Beatles are arguably the most important rock band of all time -- but I have a hard time imagining concessions from either side.

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Tags copyrightApplelegaliTunesintellectual propertyEMIReutersharrismusic fileslegal issues

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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