To be honest, despite the live album, we'd more or less assumed that The White Stripes had already split up, but now it's official:
“The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health,” the two said in their statement. “It’s for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way.”Although that last segment might sound like they've just slapped a creative commons licence on their back catalogue, I suspect you might find yourself arguing a difficult case if you started to sell your own Stripes 'best of' - "Jack White told me it belongs to me..."
"Third Man Records will continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings from the White Stripes in their Vault subscription record club, as well as through regular channels.”
“The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”
The White Stripes site has crashed following the announcement. Or perhaps it just went offline to preserve what was special about the website.