Paul McCartney

Rumor has it that if you play "Revolution No. 9" backwards, it now says, "The deal is dead."

Negotiations on a long-awaited deal to make The Beatles' catalogue available online via services such as the iTunes Music Store have hit an impasse. "The last word I got back was it's stalled," Paul McCartney said Monday at a London launch party for his new album, "Electric Arguments."

"We are very for it. We've been pushing it," said McCartney, "But there are a couple of sticking points, I understand."

To date, the Fab Four's holding company, Apple Corps Ltd. — which in the past has slugged it out in the courtroom with Steve Jobs' Apple Inc., over dibs on the fruity moniker — has not allowed the group's music onto digital download platforms. But McCartney suggested that the latest stalemate is between the Beatles and their record label, EMI. "They want something we're not prepared to give them," he told Billboard.biz.

A spokesperson for EMI said, "Unfortunately the various parties involved have so far been unable to reach agreement, but we really hope that everyone can make progress soon."

C'mon, boys, let it be ... downloaded.