Beatles music pulled from Norwegian podcasts
LONDON (Billboard) - Norway's national broadcaster has pulled a series of 212 podcasts each featuring a different song by the Beatles. The podcasts would have essentially constituted giving away the entire Beatles catalog for free.
Although the band's music has not been licensed for the Internet, NRK said on Tuesday that its 2007 radio series "Our Daily Beatles" would be made available as a free podcast. Each installment features the story behind a Beatles track; a version without music ran as a podcast in 2007.
The broadcaster planned to make all 212 episodes available by the end of the month, but 14 episodes were briefly made available to download. It then emerged that NRK's rights agreement with music-label trade group IFPI allows only podcasts from shows broadcast in the previous four weeks.
"The Beatles comes under our agreement with IFPI, which says that we only can put up shows for download that were aired the latest four weeks, and where the music is less than 70 percent of the show's length," said the statement. "'Our Daily Beatles' aired in 2007, so we have to pull the podcast. If it was aired today, we could have podcasted the next four weeks within the agreement. We could have done it, but choose not to."
NRK is in talks with IFPI on a new rights agreement, but it is unlikely to enable the Beatles' music to be available online, given the absence of Internet licensing for the band so far.
The Web site Examiner.com posted the following statement from the Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd.: "It has recently been reported that a Norwegian broadcasting company, NRK, will make Beatles music available for download via a series of podcasts. These podcasts are not authorized by Apple Corps Ltd."
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