Paul McCartney said Monday negotiations on a long-awaited deal to make the Beatles' catalog available on the online music service iTunes have stalled.
"The last word I got back was it's stalled at the whole moment, the whole process," the former Beatle said. "I really hope it will happen because I think it should."
McCartney, who was speaking at the launch of his new album, Electric Arguments, added: "It's between EMI and the Beatles, I think."
The band's holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., has so far declined to allow the Fab Four's music on any Internet music service, including iTunes. The situation has been exacerbated by a long-running trademark dispute between Apple Corps and Apple Inc., which owns iTunes — a dispute that was resolved last year.
Record label EMI, which owns the Beatles recordings but needs Apple Corps' permission to release the music in new formats, said it was still trying to resolve the matter.
An EMI spokeswoman said: "We have been working hard to secure agreement with Apple Corps. to make the Beatles' legendary recording catalog available to fans in digital form. Unfortunately the various parties involved have been unable to reach agreement but we really hope everyone can make progress soon."
The spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity in line with company policy.
Apple Inc. was not immediately available for comment.