The Beatles back catalogue: No longer available for download and a weird fight for the ownership

6 November 2009

Remember those mad fuckers who were making The Beatles back catalogue available for download? Well, they're even more mental than we first thought.

BlueBeat, who were selling the Fab Four tracks have, unsurprisingly, been hit with a federal copyright lawsuit. They have been told to stop selling the music with immediate effect.

What no-one counted on was BlueBeat's owner, Hank Risan, making one of the most insane claims in rock history!

Basically, he's claiming that he doesn’t need to license the music as the service is using re-recorded versions of the songs using a technology called “psycho-acoustic simulation” and obtained new copyrights as a result.

Essentially, what they're arguing is that, by ripping the albums from CD while running them through its software, BlueBeat has created a new body of work.

Want an explanation? Risan, when asked by EMI about how he wasn't violating copyrights, said: "I authored the sound recordings that are being used by psycho-acoustic simulation." Of course, the response was something along the lines of 'Eh?'

Risan replied: "Psychoacoustic simulations are my synthetic creation of that series of sounds which best expresses the way I believe a particular melody should be heard as a live performance." This particular series of sounds being Beatles songs with some pictures attached to it... almost like they'd been ripped from a CD.

Of course, this woolly answer was met with an immediate lawsuit, signifying this as piracy "of the most blatant and harmful kind" and taking a pop at the "willful and overtly defiant manner in which they are acting."

How defiant? Well, the BlueBeat has registered for the copyright! "To make matters worse," says EMI's complaint, "Defendants recently sought to register their infringing sound recordings with the Copyright Office, apparently claiming that because they copied the sound recordings using their own computer system, they now own these digital copies and have the right to distribute them to the public."

Absolutely mental.

Of course, as a consumer, you can no longer obtain the Beatles back catalogue as an MP3, however, if you really want those tracks, I'm pretty sure you know of a few places you can get them from and not worry about forking out any money.



  • Brians U.
    Is this not the same as the record company releaseing a "digitally remastered" version and saying that it is completely different from the original. I suspect that the only people who will say they can "hear" a difference are those silly enough to pay for the digitally remastered versions in the first place, and are just too embarressed to admit its the same shit.
  • Askgar
    Thats one of the biggest leads of rubbish (the article just to clarify) I've EVER heard, When that goes to court its going to be a massacre, no one in their right might would believe BlueBeat AREN'T infringing copyright... what a load of rubbish.
  • Askgar
    Oh, and @Brians Uncle People who are truly into music probably turn their noses up at "Digitally Remastered" versions as they aren't the original recordings, they've been modified by a computer to "sound better", its more the people who like to believe they are into music that are all over then.
  • Mark
    Some guy talking bollocks in the article and then another couple of guys taking bollocks in the comments. Who'd have thunk it!
  • charitynjw
    Their next venture is FS's "I did it my way"!!

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