updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue September 8, 2009
Event timing a coincidence, says source
Apple will not announce availability of The Beatles' back catalog come September 9th, says a source claimed to be familiar with the band's plans. The company is planning a special music-themed event for Wednesday, at which it is generally expected that new iPods and an updated version of iTunes will be unveiled. A few analysts have speculated on announcements related to the Apple TV and iTunes video sales.
The date will separately mark the release of remastered Beatles albums on CD, and the launch of The Beatles: Rock Band for game consoles. It had been thought that Apple could use the day to fill a significant gap in the iTunes Store; any addition of Beatles music will have to wait though, the source insists. It may be likely that publishers want to avoid cannibalizing sales, as iTunes copies of the Beatles' albums would likely cost less than their physical counterparts.
Apple has had a long and often unpleasant history with the Beatles. Legal disputes began back in 1978, when the company was sued for trademark infringement by Apple Corps, the Beatles' private record label. Subsequent suits in 1989 and 2003 revolved around breaches of a 1981 settlement, banning Apple from entering the music business. In February 2007, the two parties finally announced an agreement that would see Apple own all trademarks, but license some back to Apple Corps.