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Two websites selling The Beatles’ back catalogue shut down indefinitely

Two websites that previously sold and streamed songs by The Beatles have been closed down indefinitely by a US judge.

BlueBeat and Basebeat started selling individual tracks for as little as 25 cents (15p) earlier this month. The band’s record label EMI won a preliminary court injunction ruling the site had been selling the tracks unlawfully.

Now US District Judge John F Walter has prohibited both sites and their owner, Hank Risan, from streaming or selling songs by the Fab Four and other artists, including Lily Allen and Coldplay, for good.

A court date had been set for Friday (November 20) but the judge ruled on the issue beforehand based on pleadings by attorneys for Risan and the music label.

EMI claimed the sites were selling high-quality versions of copyrighted songs, which had never been legally released digitally, reports Associated Press.

Risan defended the company saying the songs being sold had been re-recorded – making them exempt from copyright. He claimed the tracks were both different to the original recordings and identical in sound, thanks to a new technology called “psycho-acoustic simulation”.

However, the judge presiding over the case ruled that Risan hadn’t been able to back up his claim.

Following the initial proceedings, it was announced The Beatles’ remastered back catalogue is set to be released next month on a new format – an apple-shaped USB device.