Apple Corps: Let it be...

Apple Corps: Let it be...

Summary: Steve Jobs took on the music and film industry, built a walled garden around Apple's DRM and iPod platform, became Disney's biggest shareholder and now has to deal with bringing the Beatles into line with the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer trademark lawsuit.

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TOPICS: Apple
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appleapplelogo.jpgSteve Jobs took on the music and film industry, built a walled garden around Apple's DRM and iPod platform, became Disney's biggest shareholder and now has to deal with bringing the Beatles into line with the Apple Corps v. Apple Computer trademark lawsuit. Meanwhile Apple Corps is living in the dark ages, preferring to keep its Beatles catalog offline. It's difficult to figure out why the Apple Corps team--Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and the estate of George Harrison--doth protest. 

The trademark infringement suit goes way back to 1978, when Apple Computer was just a few years old.  The suit was settled for less than $100,000 paid to the Beatle's version of Apple, and Apple Computer agreed to not go into the music business. Who knew at that time that the music world would be turning inside out and upside down. The people at Apple Corps have their heads in the sand, like litigation or are looking to squeeze some money out of Apple Computer. Perhaps all three. The two Apples look different and do different things. One distributes music through an online music store and the other owns and creates music. Let it be...

Topic: Apple

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13 comments
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  • Let it be...

    Geez my thoughts exactly!

    As much as I once liked the Beatles, I haven't purchased a single tune from 1978 to the present. No singles from Paul or the rest after the split.

    Just think how much money I saved? I bought quite a few Apple II's and a few Mac computers all for what I probably would have spent in Beatles music.

    ...Life Goes On!
    RShea78
    • O-bla-dee, o-bla-dah

      I'm surprised that this suit has come up again.

      From what I read in the article here, I'm not entirely sure about the case. On the one hand, the terms of the settlement were that Apple couldn't go into the "recorded music business." On the other hand, does an online music store really qualify under that category?

      As for the answer to all of this, as Ringo Starr once sang, "You know it don't come easy..."
      Third of Five
  • Apple versus the Beatles

    The Beatles must be a bunch of greedy $^#^%@^$
    I never really liked any of there music anyways.
    Are they stuck up for money or just stuck up. The apple logo that the computer company uses doesn't look like the beatles
    ronbeacom
    • where do you stand on the WIndows/Lindows debate?

      n
      barsteward
  • One bad apple...

    Apple is still very busy producing merchandise. Anthology DVD's, books, Remastered CD and films are some of Apple's projects. You guys are really out of touch with The Beatles, who came up with the name Apple for their company first. Apple computers admitted it used the name because they were Beatle fans (This is historic Fact - they used the name Apple BECAUSE it was the Beatles logo). Consider the confusion of songs owned by Apple Corp played on iTunes owned by Apple. You can't use the Beatles name for your new rap group, or pretend you wrote Yesterday. Where's your ethics? You can't possibly believe what you are saying. It's so wrong. Apple computers signed a court paper that they would not get into the music business. Where's their case?
    hipmonkey
    • ...don't spoil the whole bunch :)

      Apple Corps. is still putting out product, but I wouldn't exactly call them "busy" given the rate of one or two items a year. (BTW, I am a huge Beatles fan and buy pretty much everything related to the group.)

      I have no idea what you mean by "the confusion of songs owned by Apple Corp played on iTunes owned by Apple." There ARE no Beatles/Apple Corps. songs on iTunes. No one at Apple Computer is misusing the Beatles' name or claiming authorship of anything the Beatles did. Anyone who doesn't know the difference between Apple Corps. & Apple Computing either (1) just woke up from a deep 30-year sleep or (2) smoked too much hippie lettuce back in the 60s.

      Everything has changed since that agreement was signed back in the late 70s. Apple Corps. says Apple is now selling music. Apple Computing says they're transmitting data. They're BOTH right, which tells you right there that that 20+ year old agreement is useless in the 21st Century.

      If Apple Corps. was smart and forward-looking, they wouldn't be suing - they would be negotiating with Apple Computing to get the Beatles' catalog up on iTunes. Then they could sit back and count the cash that would come their way. Seems like that would be a lot easier and more profitible than this silly lawsuit.
      cseanor
    • An apple a day...

      Apple computers need some brain surgery...
      thommym
  • Case proven, damages; one penny.

    I grew up with the Beatles. I loved the Beatles and I still love their
    music. I choose to use the word love in all seriousness. The
    Beatles sang of love and promoted love as a healing power. They
    were an inspiration to a generation and their music will continue
    to be an inspiration to countless others for perhaps thousands
    of years. Music that will be almost exclusively in the digital
    realm, delivered by networked digital devices that will spread the
    inspirational words and music of those extraordinary people.
    People who have already been fabulously rewarded for their
    gifts.

    Now they are suing Apple Computer for damages. I can
    understand the legal position of Apple Corps and of course, they
    have a case. However, in my view, this is just another example of
    over-zealous use of intellectual property law. I don't care how
    right they are about trademark infringement, I cannot believe
    that the Beatles are in any way being damaged by Apple iTunes.
    Quite the contrary, their reputations are being sullied by this
    petty dispute.

    All you need is love...
    yusoshi
  • Let It Be

    One must read the contract to know who is screwing whom.
    Does it say Apple can sell no music, or not label music they
    produce Apple, or.....?
    Then one would have to know the intent of the language at the
    time of the settlement. Each party may have had different
    understanding of the original language.
    Then one must consider that the iTunes technology did not exist
    in 1991, so no matter what the parties agreed to the language
    may only pertain to technology existing in 1991.
    In the end, it is still either a money grab or an ego trip on the
    part of Apple Core (sic). One would have to have quite an
    imagination to see how the Beatles and their record company are
    harmed by Apple Computer. True they did copyright the name
    Apple, a great creative stroke of genius, and they should
    continue to profit from that forever?
    Joe Konn
  • Read the Contract

    One must read the contract to know who is screwing whom.
    Does it say Apple can sell no music, or not label music they
    produce Apple, or.....?
    Then one would have to know the intent of the language at the
    time of the settlement. Each party may have had different
    understanding of the original language.
    Then one must consider that the iTunes technology did not exist
    in 1991, so no matter what the parties agreed to the language
    may only pertain to technology existing in 1991.
    In the end, it is still either a money grab or an ego trip on the
    part of Apple Core (sic). One would have to have quite an
    imagination to see how the Beatles and their record company are
    harmed by Apple Computer. True they did copyright the name
    Apple, a great creative stroke of genius, and they should
    continue to profit from that forever?
    Joe Konn
  • One Apple leaves a sour taste

    My question is why did it take so long for Apple Corps to resue
    Apple Computer? Were they waiting for the "damages" done to
    the Apple Corps to be irreversible? Oh my, it's already too late.
    When I think of a company named Apple, the last thing I think of
    is anything related to the Beatles or the Apple Corps company.
    IOW, the name recognition damage has been done. Get over it.

    As far as Apple Computer being in the music business, they are
    no different than any bricks and mortar store that sells music on
    CD or DVD. With the exception of the unique ability to deliver
    said content diretly to the customer. If Apple Corps has a
    problem those companies being in the music business, than
    they have a legitimate case with Apple Computer. If not, leave
    Steve and the gang alone and get on with cutting a deal to make
    the Beatles collection available for download at the iTunes Music
    Store, even if it's more than 99 cents a tune. It's time to quit
    feuding and finally embrace the digital age, rather than fight it.
    Chiatzu
  • Trademark infringement is about ...

    ... customer confusion, not name recognition.

    Who do you know that doesn't know the Difference between "Apple Records" and "Apple iPod"?

    Does "Apple Records" even hold any copyrights other than those of the Beatles? Do they still produce music? I don't know -- bit I do know that "Apple Computer" does not produce records and I am not gooing to confuse the two. There is nothing that I can buy from "Apple Records" than I can also buy from "Apple Computer" withotu paying a royalty to "Apple Records" -- in short, "Apple Records" has complete control over whether I can buy their products from "Apple Computer" or not -- and "Apple Records" takes a cut if I do. Saying that "Apple Computer" can take money from "Apple Records" by viture of their having the same name is ridiculous.
    M Wagner
    • Makes you wonder

      If there isn't a nefarious silent party involved. I wonder why there
      isn't a law firm in Seattle involved in this....
      Rick_K