The procession of the Beatles catalogue to the download market has been a long one, taking a tortuous route that included going twice round the Apple Records/Apple computers name. The one thing that hasn't been influencing the timing of when the songs appear online, though, is the financial status of the band and their surviving relatives.
And yet, readers of the Daily Mail are being told, confidently:
Yes, according to the Mail, the only reason The Beatles are finally making it online is because Paul is short of a few quid to pay off Heather.
But if Paul was short of cash, wouldn't that be to his advantage, as he could show the courts that he's down to his last ten quid, and so Heather couldn't expect more than a fiver? Wouldn't it be foolish to flog the online catalogue before the settlement?
And would Yoko really take a call from Paul saying 'can we flog Love Me Do on the iTunes so I can get shot of the Mills?' and happily agree?
The Mail does seem to have at least thought of the first possible objection:
It raises the prospect she could appeal if she feels the judge has not considered the online deal properly.
But then the Mail doesn't really know what it's talking about:
It is expected to dominate the download charts for many months.
Worth 200 million quid? That would imply somewhere in the region of 253 million downloads - that would certainly "dominate" the download charts, it's true. But is that really likely? Where is the massive demand for Beatles tracks going to come from - from people who really, really like them, but haven't quite got round to downloading them off the peer-to-peer or ripping them from their own CDs? Is that such a large group, Daily Mail?