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Hard day's night for Bluebeat as EMI sues over copyright

MUSIC label EMI, which is owned by Guy Hands&rsquo; Terra Firma, said yesterday that it is suing a US-based website that is selling unauthorised downloads of Beatles songs.<br /><br />EMI filed a copyright infringement suit against Bluebeat.com, a small website based in California, which was selling the fab four&rsquo;s music for download at just 25 cents a track &ndash; far lower than they would be priced if they were available on other sites, such as iTunes.<br /><br />Bluebeat.com also allows users to stream songs for free.<br /><br />Beatles tracks are not legally available in MP3 format, despite protracted negotiations between EMI and the company set up to handle the Beatles catalogue, Apple Corp.<br /><br />Both the label and Sir Paul McCartney have said that they are keen to see the Beatles music available on digital stores, but talks have so far stalled. <br /><br />As it stands, EMI can only monetise the back-catalogue through physical sales, such as the re-mastered &ldquo;Fab Four&rdquo; release, and video games.<br /><br />There were hopes that Beatles songs would become available after iTunes owner Apple Inc ended its trademark dispute with Apple Corp in 2007, but obstacles remained.