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No Beatles on iTunes tomorrow

An EMI executive has come out and said there'll be no Liverpudlian love on iTunes for Beatles Day.

Up until this morning, many of us at CNET Australia were imagining Steve Jobs' tagline on the "imminent" release of the Beatles back catalogue on iTunes, it's a no-brainer really: Come Together.

EMI won't allow Beatles digital sales due to piracy fears (Credit: Library of Congress, P&P Division (reproduction number: cph.3c11094) )

Today, as the various sound systems in the room are reminding us, is unofficially Beatles Day: 09/09/09. Given that Apple has announced a press conference on the same day (US time), it seemed natural it would make an announcement to coincide with the worldwide release of The Beatles: Rock Band and the remastered albums. Sadly, an EMI executive has scotched that idea.

"Conversations between Apple and EMI are ongoing and we look forward to the day when we can make the music available digitally. But it's not tomorrow," Ernesto Schmitt, EMI's global catalogue president told the Financial Times.

Apple has had a long-standing feud with Apple Records (distributed by EMI) over the rights to the "Apple" name. The Beatles' label was happy for the two companies to coexist as long as the Cupertino company didn't sell music. So, you can imagine how this relationship soured when the iTunes store went live...

Apparently the hold-up is about some outdated fears of piracy on EMI's behalf, and not the band. "If one [EMI] employee decides to take it home and wap it on to the internet, we would have the right to say, 'Now you recompense us for that'. And they're scared of that," Paul McCartney told FT. Did Sir Paul really say "wap"?

We're pretty sure that right now lossless FLAC encodings of both the stereo and the highly-sought after mono recordings released today will be freely available on the internet. EMI needs to get with the times.

But what does that leave for Apple to announce tomorrow? The strongest rumours surround iPod Touches with integrated cameras, the possible "death" of the iPod Classic, and the release of iTunes 9 with Blu-ray support. We still hold out hope for a Beatles iPod ala the U2 Special Edition, and an iTunes release "in the future".

[Financial Times via Gizmodo]