EMI, Apple holding joint announcement tomorrow [updated]

EMI will reportedly hold a press event in London on Monday with Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a special guest. In an invite sent to select media today, EMI, which has released the Beatles records since 1962, said it was announcing an “exciting new digital offering” and that there will be a “special live performance” at the event by an unnamed artist or band. The event follows months of speculation that Apple’s iTunes Store would be the first to offer music from the Beatles online following an agreement between Apple and the Beatles’ Apple Corps record label.

Update: An EMI spokesman said this was not an April Fool’s joke.

Update #2: A Reuters source “familiar with the situation” said a Beatles deal would not be announced at the event. “There is no Beatles’ announcement,” the source said.

Update #3: The Wall Street Journal now reports: “In a major reversal of the music industry’s longstanding antipiracy strategy, EMI Group PLC is set to announce Monday that it plans to sell significant amounts of its catalog without anticopying software, according to people familiar with the matter. The London-based music company is to make its announcement in a press conference that will feature Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs. EMI is to sell songs without the software—known as digital rights management, or DRM—through Apple’s iTunes Store and possibly through other online outlets, too.”

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