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Beatles music one step closer to iTunes

Apple poised as EMI does deal with Beatles

After losing to Apple Computer (now Apple Inc) on the Mac maker's use of its fruit-shaped logo on iTunes, The Beatles' record label Apple Corps has now settled its royalties dispute with music giant EMI – removing the last barrier to the Fab Four's legendary music catalogue becoming available for legal digital download via services such as iTunes.

Macca, Ringo and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison had claimed that EMI owed them £30m in missing royalties from album sales. Apple Corps was forced to climb down on its claim that Apple Computer had broken a deal that it wouldn't enter the music business using its logo.

"I can confirm that we have reached a mutually acceptable settlement and that we are not going to say anything more than that," said an EMI spokesperson.

EMI owns the recording rights to The Beatles' music, but the band demanded that their hits not be allowed on sites such as Apple's iTunes.

In almost certainly related news, Neil Aspinall, who had been responsible for the band's business affairs for more than 40 years and was head of the Apple Corps business, has quit.

Aspinall had previously mentioned that the Beatles music wouldn't be available for download until the tracks had all been digitally remastered. This process has already been started, and some of the remastered music appeared on the band's recent 'Love' mash-up album.

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