Major record label EMI announced today that they have settled an ongoing copyright dispute with the Beatles that had prevented the label from licensing their music for distribution. In light of EMI's recent deal to release its catalog on iTunes, it appears that there is little left to prevent the Fab Four's back catalog from finally being released online.
Legal issues aside, the band has historically declined offers to sell downloads of its music. Still, with Steve Jobs using the Beatles' music as part of his Macworld demonstration for the iPhone, it's fair to say Apple is eager negotiate a way to make iTunes the first download music service to offer the group's music. If Michael Jackson hasn't sold his remaining shares of Beatles publishing rights to pay for his legal troubles, I'm sure he and his pet chimpanzee are crossing their fingers hoping this deal goes through.