BlueBeat, a website that offered unauthorised digital files of Beatles' music for as little as 15p, has been told it must pay £594,000 to the EMI Group, Capitol Records and Virgin Records America.

BlueBeat was pretty successful in its selling of Beatles' songs and albums. By the time the music was taken offline in November 2009, BlueBeat had sold 67,000 songs by The Beatles.

While this is small-fry compared to what Apple managed in its first week – where 2 million songs were sold, as well as 450,000 albums – none of this money was lining the pockets of music execs.

Psycho-acoustic simulation

BlueBeat's original excuse was that it was not offering original recordings but re-recordings using 'psycho-acoustic simulation'.

This excuse had as much effect as 'the dog ate my homework' and BlueBeat were quickly sued for selling music online illegally.

BlueBeat's lawyer is seemingly happy with the settlement, mainly as it is a fraction of what it could have cost the website.

"So long as we pay royalties, we can stream their stuff all day and all night without a problem," explained BlueBeat's lawyer Archie Robinson.

"We basically settled the case for their attorney fees. I felt that was sort of an acknowledgement on their part that they don't have the damages they claimed."

Via the Guardian