The Beatles will reportedly make a bulk of their musical catalog available as a free, legal download thanks to a series of Norwegian podcasts. In 2001, the Fab Four were the subject of a documentary series entitled "Var daglige Beatles," or "Our Daily Beatles," in which Norwegian journalists told the stories behind every track in the Beatles official catalog in chronological order, with the tracks themselves being played after the story was told. Now, for the first time ever, the series is available as a downloadable podcast, marking the first time the Beatles music in any form has been legally available via download. Despite efforts to finally bring the Beatles to iTunes, Paul McCartney said talks between Apple Corps. and EMI Records have "stalled."
Unfortunately for us English speakers, the three minutes of storytelling that accompany each track is only in Norwegian. So far, 14 of the 212 episodes in the series are available, with the remainder expected out before the end of January. Check out the list of downloadable podcasts here (and thanks to BoingBoing for bringing this to our attention). The deal between Norwegian broadcasters NRK and music rights holders TONO allows the podcasts that feature music to be available as free downloads for four weeks, while other Beatles material not featuring the band's music will be available "forever." Whether this Norway deal represents a thaw in the Beatles' stance toward digital downloads remains to be seen.
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