Could EMI possibly have gotten around the “licensing” loophole by calling the pact a “distribution” deal?

BEATLES NOT FOR SALE?

Does Fab Four’s EMI Contract Prevent a License to Deal?
It’s yet another roadblock in Terra Firma’s attempt to salvage its ill-fated EMI Music deal.

According to our good friend Roger Friedman, last week’s aborted EMI pact to license its music in North America to Universal Music Group or Sony for some $300 million over five years came unraveled because they were contractually forbidden to license The Beatles records to another company.

Friedman adds a similar provision exists for such superstar acts as Pink Floyd, Coldplay and Norah Jones, among others.

As Friedman points out, the Fab Four catalog are the “crown jewels” of EMI, and a licensing deal would be “valueless” without them.

Seems hard to believe that neither UMG nor Sony would have discovered this fact in doing their due diligence, or maybe they did, and that occasioned the last-minute pull-out. Could they possibly have gotten around the “licensing” loophole by calling the pact a “distribution” deal?

Terra Firma now has until June 12 to come up with $190 million to satisfy its debt covenant with Citigroup, which would presumably take over the company and make its own deals at that time. One top insider is quoted as surmising, before that happens, “the Beatles and others may try to leave.”

Guy certainly has his Hands full.

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