Company Sued For Selling Beatles MP3s Says They're Original Works, So It's Okay

Since the Beatles are notorious for refusing to release their music online, the mere fact that BlueBeat.com was selling them was kind of strange, which probably explains why EMI just sued them for copyright infringement. But BlueBeat has come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation. The songs aren’t really Beatles songs, you see, but “psycho-acoustic simulations” and therefore original works.

According to Macworld,

BlueBeat’s lawyers claim that the Website is “entirely lawful and does not constitute piracy” and that the plaintiffs are not likely to succeed. Also, the plaintiffs are well aware that the defendants “developed a series of entirely new and original sounds that it allows the general public to purchase” and that “copyright protection does not extend to the independant fixation of sounds other than those contained in their copyrighted recordings.”

Macworld points out that even if this were a sane argument that was remotely believable, BlueBeat sells their so-called knockoff Beatles tracks as real Beatles tracks, complete with “album title, track titles, record label, and release date.” I just hope BlueBeat presents some sort of online demo of what “psycho-acoustic simulation” entails, so I can duplicate it at home and create my own music store.

Update, Friday Nov 6th: The judge has ordered Bluebeat to stop selling the Beatles tracks at once. (Thanks to sakanagai!)

“BlueBeat says Beatles songs are its own creations” [Macworld]