Beatles and iTunes deal still at impasse: Yoko Ono

Fri Aug 6, 2010 7:48am EDT
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By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Don't hold your breath waiting for Beatles songs to go on sale at iTunes or other online retailers, Yoko Ono said on Thursday.

The Fab Four have long resisted the allure of digital downloads, instead selling millions of old-fashioned compact discs last year after remastering the catalog.

Apple Corps, the group's holding company has been unable to agree on terms with EMI Group, which licenses the Beatles' recordings. And then there's the unrelated Apple Inc, owner of iTunes, the world's largest music retailer.

Apple and Apple have had a difficult history over rights to the name. But that trademark dispute was settled in 2007, and speculation has regularly popped up ever since that the two companies would strike an iTunes deal.

"(Apple CEO) Steve Jobs has his own idea and he's a brilliant guy," Ono, the 77-year-old widow of John Lennon, told Reuters. "There's just an element that we're not very happy about, as people. We are holding out.

"Don't hold your breath ... for anything," she said with a laugh.


Ono, who was promoting an upcoming public television documentary about her husband, "LENNONYC," declined to go into detail. Former member Paul McCartney was similarly vague in 2008 when he said there were "a couple of sticking points."   Continued...

<p>Artist Yoko Ono performs during her installation entitled "Anton&rsquo;s Memory" at the Arsenale during the vernissage of the 53rd Biennale Internazional Art Exhibition in Venice June 6, 2009. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi</p>