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Apple wins logo battle; Jobs hopeful for Beatles on iTunes

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, May 8, 2006
News Categories: Apple

Apple Computer has won the trademark lawsuit brought on by the Beatles’ Apple Corps, and can continue using its logo on the iTunes Music Store, a judge in the U.K. ruled Monday. Apple Corps has long-accused Apple Computer of violating a 1991 agreement by moving into the music business. The iPod maker has contended that iTunes was primarily a data transmission service and permitted by the agreement. Judge Edward Mann of Britain’s High Court ruled that Apple Computer did not breach the agreement because the logo is used for the store itself and not the music. “I think the use of the apple logo is a fair and reasonable use of the mark in connection with the service,” Mann said in his judgment. “I find no breach of the trademark agreement has been demonstrated. The action therefore fails.”

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he was happy to end the courtroom battle, and said he looked forward to getting the Beatles’ music on the iTunes Music Store. “We are glad to put this disagreement behind us,” Jobs said. “We have always loved the Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes Music Store.” An Apple Corps spokeswoman said that no decision had been made on when the Beatles’ songs would be available in digital form. Apple Corps also said that it would appeal the decision.

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Comments

1

I doubt that The Beatles will just roll over and say, “OK, you won.  Sell our music.”  The very fact that they’re appealing - while they’re unlikely to win an appeal - signals they probably won’t appear on iTunes any time soon.

Even though I have all The Beatles songs I want/need, I wish they’d make it available.  There’s a whole generation of kids who only know “Come Together” from Phillips commericals.

God, I HATE Michael Jackson.

Posted by Burnsy on May 8, 2006 at 6:28 AM (PDT)

2

The thing is Burnsy, that if I knew nothing about the Beatles and saw them on iTunes, I wouldn’t download them. So putting the Beatles on iTunes won’t make a difference, that generation had already heard “Come Together” if they were at all curious about them.

but I am with you on the Michael Jackson part

Posted by Echid on May 8, 2006 at 6:50 AM (PDT)

3

The Beatles should have won. Apple Corps will never put the music on iTunes because of principle, and the fact that they don’t need to. The Beatles are a massive part of todays music, just as they were in their day. They can sell records by other means, they don’t need iTunes.

Posted by James on May 8, 2006 at 8:00 AM (PDT)

4

Apple Corps, Ltd. is a tightly held corporation, still owned after all these years by its originators and descendants. There is still product to be released which has never been commercially available in downloadable form or in any form.

For those reasons, regardless of how the appeal goes, I believe that there is a fortune to be made by making The Beatles catalog available on a secure source that is not iTunes.

In other words, Apple Corps could start its own music download site for its own product and would do quite well. They also would not be sued by Apple Computer for doing so.

If they offered things that were not available elsewhere, they would sell them like crazy. So again, regardless of how the appeal goes, both parties will win.

I believe that today’s decision is a travesty in the annals of trademark law and I can only hope that it will be reversed as a result of the appeal. We’ll see…

Posted by Disappointed on May 8, 2006 at 8:22 AM (PDT)

5

What you all fail to note is that Apple Corp. has nothing to do with The Beatles’ music catalogue and selling its records. Nor will it participate in downloads if they are offered. The group profits from those sales of course, but Parliphone is the label (Capital in the US). Apple Corp is the company they set up to do various business ventures, but that was long after the group signed their record contract, and signed away the publishing rights to their songs (owned by Sony and Michael Jackson). This was about the Apple logo, not music. BTW there will be a remastered reissue of the Beatles albums this year, the first remaster ever.

Posted by TheBigNewt on May 8, 2006 at 8:46 AM (PDT)

6

While Parlophone and Capitol do indeed take The Beatles sound recordings and make them available to consumers in LP and CD formats, they would not be needed for digital downloadable format of the same or future releases. Sony/MiJac own the publishing rights to the vast majority of The Beatles catalog (pre-1968,) and must be paid royalties whenever those items are used for profit.

Posted by Disappointed on May 8, 2006 at 9:17 AM (PDT)

7

Like I said those labels “own” the right to sell Beatles recordings. Apple has never owned them. The label is coming out with the new reissues this year and announced that they would make Beatles songs available for downloading around the same time. They did not say what download services would get them. Maybe not Itunes, but they do get about 70% of all the $$.

Posted by TheBigNewt on May 8, 2006 at 10:39 AM (PDT)

8

“The Beatles should have won. Apple Corps will never put the music on iTunes because of principle, and the fact that they don’t need to. The Beatles are a massive part of todays music, just as they were in their day. They can sell records by other means, they don’t need iTunes.”


So The Beatles should have won because you like them?  Or because you believe they had a legitimate case?

Because they didn’t have a legitimate case, so they shouldn’t have won.

Posted by Burnsy on May 8, 2006 at 11:58 AM (PDT)

9

I think the whole thing is BS.  Seriously, why is Apple Corporation suing Apple Computer over the right to use a logo, confusion?  I highly doubt Apple Corp. has lost any money due to a misunderstanding about a logo.  If anything this suit has put a mark on Apple Corp, not Apple Computer.  A do not believe Apple Corp. brought this suit for the reasons stated.

Posted by slider on May 8, 2006 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

10

Way to go Apple Computers! something to watch out for is what my friend said, “Dell is going to buy Apple out very soon” YA RIGHT!! IN THIER DREAMS he was just saying that to try t make himself sound like he knows what hes talking about! he doesn’t!

Posted by LawnBoy on May 8, 2006 at 2:43 PM (PDT)

11

“Because they didn’t have a legitimate case, so they shouldn’t have won.”

Wow. Won me over there with your insightful defence case.

Posted by James on May 8, 2006 at 7:09 PM (PDT)

12

why dont you read the court decision, so we dont have to explain it to you?

Posted by Rob on May 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM (PDT)

13

Well, i certainly hope that the Beatles will be on iTunes soon, but my iPod is already filled with TONS of beatles songs (Close to 200), because i had to go out and buy their CD’s, and fo a 16 year old with no allowance, mony is NOT a common thing, but it was money well spent with the music of John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul Mcartney, and the beats of Ringo Starr flowing from my earphones into my ears “like endless rain into a paper cup”...

Though they have Beatles Covers, their songs re-done,on iTunes, they aren’t even close to par of the music of The Beatles

Long livethe Beatles,
Timothy C. Wellborn

Posted by Timothy Christopher Wellborn on January 1, 2008 at 7:35 PM (PDT)

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