In November 2008 there was a real breakthrough in the negotiations between The Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) and the Norwegian Colleting Society for composers. Under this agreement NRK now has the right to make podcasts with music available on the net. The program that is podcasted can not have more than 70% music, meaning that they cannot podcast music as such, only programs including music.
In 2007 NRK was celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Peppers with a series running for the entire year called “Daily Beatles”. They told the story behind each tune recorded by The Beatles. One song each week-day, with a few minutes talk and the song. 212 programs in all. The series was podcasted, but at this time only the talking, not the music. Now the series has been republished as podcast including the music. My understanding is that it will all be made available in January 2009 (the songs from the first album, Please Please Me, was made available today and the rest will follow. They will be available for four weeks.
This is very interesting for many reasons. The agreement in itself is very important, meaning that many programs about music are or will be available with the music as free download. (NRK is paying for the rights to do this, but we as customers are not charged.)
The Beatles, or those who are managing their recorded portofolio, has been very reluctant to making their music available for download. You will not even find it on iTunes. When the songs are made available for download as part of this series, they will probably be legally available for download for the first time — and they are available for free.
Beeing norwegian, I really enjoy the programs “Daily Beatles”. For those of you who do not understand Norwegian, the price will be that you have to stick with a few minues of unitelligibel talk before each tune (if you do not edit).
The RSS-feed for the series is http://podkast.nrk.no/program/beatles_komplett.rss. But I have to add a word of warning: It may be geocoded. If so, you will not be able to download the series outside of Norway.