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iTunes to begin offering The Beatles’ library

by Kelly MacNeil on November 16, 2010

Just days after rolling out the latest version of iTunes, their popular music retailer, Apple made an even bigger announcement. The company has finally come together with record group EMI to add music by The Beatles to their extensive library, The Wall Street Journal reports.

As of early Tuesday morning, no official comment had been made by either party, but there were a number of signs suggesting a deal was in the works. On Monday, Apple posted a message on the home page of iTunes urging consumers to check back on Tuesday for an exciting announcement. Under the teaser were four clocks – the third of which was reminiscent of Paul McCartney's arms on the cover of their 1965 album Help.

The Beatles have been conspicuously absent from iTunes since the music store was introduced by Apple in 2003. Despite continuing to be one of the best selling artists more than three decades after breaking up, fans could not buy the band's music from any online retailers. Other famous acts have withheld their music as well, including AC/DC and Garth Brooks, who both felt that the ability to buy one individual song, rather than an entire album, would cheapen their works.

"Until we get album-only [downloads], then they are not a true retailer for my stuff, and you won't see my stuff on there," Brooks told The Telegraph.

The agreement ends a decades-long legal battle between Apple Computers and Apple Corps – the record label founded by The Beatles in 1968 – which started in the late '70s when Apple Corps claimed the computer company stole their logo. The move may help an embattled EMI, which has struggled financially after a recent buy-out from Terra Firma – who owes Citigroup $4.4 billion

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