Why We Care About Apple And The Beatles
So chances are (though I don’t buy the semaphore thing) that tomorrow will bring an announcement from Apple that they’ve finally reached an agreement with Apple Records, or EMI, or Apple Corps, or somebody, and will now be offering the Beatles catalogue on iTunes. That’s nice, but why should we care?
Being that the Beatles MP3 holdout is emblematic of the recording industry’s resistance against modern distribution methods, the way in which the Beatles discography will be made available should be telling. Here was a situation in which the labels and distributors have millions of sales at stake, and though to be fair Beatles records have been selling just fine without the benefit of legal downloads over the last decade. The powers that be must know that by agreeing to MP3 distribution, they are shifting the fulcrum. But how far?