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$1m payout over Beatles lawsuit.

AN AMERICAN website that illegally sold Beatles songs for 15p has agreed to pay around $1m (pounds 594,000) to the record companies to settle the lawsuit against them.

California-based streamed tracks by the Fab Four and other big-name acts before the site was sued and shut down, in November, 2009.

Despite only being active for a matter of days, it had already distributed 67,000 songs by the group.

US District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker signed off on the settlement between the website and EMI Group PLC, Capitol Records and Virgin Records America having ruled in December that they had broken the music labels' copyrights and presented unfair competition.

BlueBeat had denied any wrongdoing, claiming owner Hank Risan had pioneering technology called "psychoacoustic simulation" which created unique versions of the copyrighted music.

But the argument was rejected because Mr Risan's recordings were based on CDs he had bought.

Despite the ruling, Mr Risan said the settlement was a fraction of what the companies had originally wanted and that the site, which no longer has the Fab Four's music available, is still working to register copyrights for 800,000 recordings. BlueBeat's lawyer Archie Robinson said: "So long as we pay royalties, we can stream their stuff all day and all night without a problem."


The Beatles - 67,000 songs distributed by website
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 30, 2011
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