April 12, 2007 12:35

Beatles end dispute with own record company

Could this mean downloads are on the way?

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The Beatles have reached a settlement with their record label EMI over a dispute which has raged on for 18 months.

Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison took legal action in 2005, claiming the record giant owed them £30 million in unpaid royalties.

When the case began, head of Apple Corps Neil Aspinall accused EMI of "ignoring their obligations and duty to account fairly and with transparency".

After 40 years of involvement with The Beatles and their business affairs, Aspinall has recently quit the company.

Speaking about the agreement, an EMI spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that we have reached a mutually acceptable settlement and that we are not going to say anything more than that."

The settlement should help clear the way for the band's music to be made available as legal downloads for the first time.

As previously reported, the label told NME.COM they are currently "working on" making this happen.

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