Beatles songs weren't in the iTunes fray
Now it looks as though a deal's been made
Oh I believe it's time to say:
I can load up on the AACs
There's no lawsuit hanging over me
OK, not yet, but I believe.
Have to fight? I don't know, I couldn't say
Cisco could drop their suit on iPhone's na-a-a-ame.
Steve Jobs' iPhone launch speech made us say,
Why the use of Lovely Rita, eh?
Oh what a tease he was that day.
Play that song if there were no plans in place?
there will be an announcement within day-ay-ay-ays.
I swear, sometimes observing the goings-on at Apple is like watching Lost -- you keep wondering whether those little clues have any implications for the overall plot. The combination of a notoriously tight-lipped company and a worldwide cult of speculation-loving followers makes for some entertaining whispers, rumours and conspiracy theories. And as with Lost, the clues pay off just often enough to make them worth paying close attention to.
At the January announcement of the iPhone (maybe you've heard of it), His Turtlenecked Eminence, Steve Jobs, demonstrated the device's music capabilities using a digital version of the Fab Four's Lovely Rita. But lovely Rita, meter maid (along with Eleanor Rigby, Sergeant Pepper, and everyone else in the Beatles' song catalogue), isn't available for download on iTunes.
At the time of the iPhone speech, Apple Inc (nee Computer) and Beatles record label Apple Corps had been tussling over trademarks for decades, with the Corps suing Jobs's company in 2003 regarding use of names and logos in iTunes.
So why play a Beatles song during a keynote speech that millions were tuning into? Because behind the scenes, Apple and Apple had come together to take a sad song and make it better. The trademark feud has been settled, with Apple Inc to "own all trademarks and logos related to the name "Apple" and license them accordingly to the Apple Corps Ltd. music company".
Surely the release of the Beatles catalogue on the iTunes Store can't be far away. Though as fab as that will be for old and young alike, spare a thought for The Soundalike Beatles, The Beatles Tribute Band and The Beatles Revival Band, who have been reaping the rewards of appearing in the results whenever someone types "Beatles" into the iTunes search bar. In the words of the late George Harrison, all things must pass.
What I'm hanging out for is the special Beatles edition of the iPod. Kind of like the U2 one, but this one would be pre-loaded with trippy visualisations from the psychedelic era. Hopefully Yoko won't get involved in the design -- then Apple and Apple might break up again.