Norwegians would share the Beatles – oh no they wouldn’t

February 2009


A number of Beatles tracks made it onto the internet for a few minutes when Norwegian broadcaster NRK made the tracks available as podcasts. The tracks were contained in Norwegian radio shows recorded in 2001 where journalists commentated on and then played classic tracks from the Fab Four. The station initially claimed that it had a blanket licence to cover the podcasts from TONO, the Norwegian collection society that represents songwriters and music publishers but the IFPI, which represents record labels including EMI (which itself looks after the Beatle’s catalogue) made it clear that no consent had been given on behalf of the owners of the sound recordings including Apple Corp which represent’s the Beatles interests. Apple Corp and EMI have never made the Beatle’s catalogue available online. In this case it then became clear that the TONO licence only applied to ‘catch up’  or ‘listen again’ services where podcasts could be accessed and listened to from shows broadcast within the last four weeks so the entire scheme was doomed and the tracks swiftly removed.

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