Free, legal downloads of every Beatles song

Oyvind sez, "Some weeks ago, NRK - Norwegian Broadcasting - signed a deal with music rights holder organisation TONO in Norway. The new deal gives NRK right to publish podcasts of all previously broadcasted radio- and tv-programs that contains less then 70% music. Podcast containing music may be up for four weeks, while our podcast without music stay up on our server forever. One result of this deal, is that we now can publish 'Vår daglige Beatles' - 'Our Daily Beatles' in English - as a podcast. In this series from 2001, journalists Finn Tokvam og Bård Ose tells the story of every single Beatles tracks ever made, chronologically. Each episode contains a 3 minute story about each track (sadly for our international visitors - in Norwegian) and the actual Beatles tune. This is - as far as we know - the first time you can download the Beatles’ music legally. Neither iTunes nor Amazon have The Beatles in their music stores." Last ned alt av “The Beatles” - og historien om hver enkelt låt (Thanks, Oyvind!)

Update: Aaaand they nuked it


  1. “The Beatles” are a British comedy troupe that ripped off the Sesame Street band “The Beetles”. So transparent was this theft of intellectual property that they have song titles that similar for songs that sound nearly identical.

    For instance:

    The Beetles: Letter B, Hey Food
    The Beatles: Let it Be, Hey Jude

    Other groups that could potentially have legal gripes include The Rutles, and The Monkees.

    Not to mention that Paul McCartney took a public domain song called “Yesterday” and covered it acoustically, claiming it was his own creation. This is obviously not the case as literally thousands of other versions of this song can be found performed by thousands of other artists. Therefore, it must be public domain.

    In reality, only Ringo was the funny one, although John was known for being witty at times.

  2. @#3
    Unfortunately, they don’t actually own the rights to many of their tunes. Until recently, much of the rights (and thus royalties) were the property of Michael Jackson, but he was forced to divest many of these assets to fund his legal battles. Now they’re probably owned by a mishmash of crusty old white men who smoke cigars and drink scotch.

  3. I really don’t want to Babelfish it, as the wordlery is too beautiful in int’s original form, but I think y’all will dig the first comment on the blog this was posted on:

    Petter Holstad Wright Jan 5th, 2009 at 14:01

    Holy freaking sweet! Dette er jo faktisk strålende. Da har jeg en del timer foran meg med god underholdning.

    Yes, Pete, this is TOTALLY holy freaking sweet.

  4. Holy crap! By submitting comments I got three block ups one that Avast called malicious! or something.

  5. @7 Beanolini:, to my memory, sold studio-produced music album tracks, in exchange for money.

    Conversely, here NRK is giving away radio broadcasts (which happen to contain 70% studio-produced Beatles tracks by volume), in exchange for nothing.

    The content of the offering since it’s using the out-of-copyright radio broadcast effectively as a legitimizing container for the Beatles’ music. This could be construed as morally nebulous, if you’re a big stickler for copyright.

    But the method of distribution is definitely different. wasn’t free, and this is.

  6. Thanks to the “hoist by their own petard” media levy here, it’s been legal to download Beatles music in Canada for a few years now. Just use BitTorrent or whatever, and you’re clear.

  7. Ugh. That damn Scouser skiffle band. I wouldn’t download their music if you paid me — it’s fucking inescapable! Why do I have to hear their music, or hear about them, decades after their heyday, every day, for the rest of my life?

  8. @Craigger1, your heart may be in the right place, but your Beatles royalties don’t go to the Beatles. Two of them are dead, for one thing; moreover, Michael Jackson has owned their catalogue for ages.

  9. Don’t worry about the health of Ringo and Paul’s wallets. NRK are paying royalty for this stuff. They have brokered a deal with the Norwegian rep for the music industry.

    So all round winners here…

  10. As you’re downloading, please share a kind thought for the Norwegian tax payers and TV licence payers, who are financing this.

  11. Whilst Michael Jackson (and Sony) do own the rights to most of the Beatles songs there are a few they don’t (“Love Me Do”, “Please Please Me”, “P.S. I Love You” and “Ask Me Why”) and McCartney and the Lennon Estate still bring in money from the songwriter royalties.

    For more details please check the wikipedia article.

    The Beatles – Song Catalogue

    Still, every time you buy a Beatles album you can bet that Sony’s the one that’ll be profiting most. To me that’s as good a reason to download the music freely and if you really feel guilty send Ringo a check (just hope he doesn’t think it’s something to autograph!)

  12. If you don’t want to listen to the podcast part & you’re using iTunes, you can set in the song’s properties the starting time (and ending time as well). On the Mac, Apple-i (or whatever you call the clover/splat key) -> Options Tab -> enter a starting time after the chatter is over. Turn off remember playback position & skip shuffling if you want (and you’ve subscribed as a podcast and these are on automatically). This data should be transfered over to your iPod as well I believe. If you want to take a step further into the moral greyness, you can then strip off the beginning by doing a “Create AAC version” under the Advanced menu (in batch even, by highlighting a group)…

  13. found that today on their Beatles page :-/

    Our Daily Beatles podcast stopped
    Due to terms still being under negotiation, our own lawyers have advised us to pull back the podcasts containing The Beatles music.

  14. .. and now it has all gone pearshaped.
    The news is breaking in the Norwegian media, and probably the international media as well, about these podcasts not going to be made available after all.

    I’m not sure what happened, but it seems that someone got confused about “IP” rights (oh, really?), and announced that The Beatles would now be available.
    Of course, there are many more stakeholders involved than NRK and the Norwegian royalty collection society.

    More from NRK at

  15. Right, so IFPI put a stop to it, for now. I still have hopes for this, not because I need a place to download Beatles, but because I liked the show. The three minutes of talking is really what made the show special. Every song has its own story, and every story I have heard on “VÃ¥r Daglige Beatles” have been very interesting, especially if you’re a Beatles fanatic. The two program hosts speaks Bergen dialect (city on the west coast), so taking a norwegian course wouldn’t get you all the way there.

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