updated 11:30 am EST, Mon January 15, 2007
Beatles on iTunes Feb 14
Apple, Inc. may well have secured the first direct-download rights to The Beatles' music catalog, according to a source speaking with extensive Beatles news site Abbey Road Best. The deal would see music label Apple Corps. launch its initial venture into online music on Valentine's Day, timing the release to help promote the recent Beatles and Cirque du Soleil collaboration album Love. Apple, Inc. would be granted three months' exclusive access not just to Beatles downloads but also the newly remastered versions of the British pop group's earlier albums in any form, Abbey Road Best claims.
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The similarly-named companies had long been embroiled in a lawsuit over involvement with music, Apple Corps arguing that the California-based computer and media company confused shoppers by offering music-related hardware and services that were too similar to the music label. The suit was recently defeated by Apple, Inc., however, and evidence has previously surfaced of an impending deal between the once-rival companies. Steve Jobs' introduction of the iPhone at MacWorld San Francisco 2007 raised the attention of many by featuring The Beatles' music during a public demonstration, with two songs from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band being played complete with album artwork. Much of the musical group's catalog was also visible in the iPhone's music library.