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Fox News: Will the Beatles Takea Bite of Apple Computer?

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2003
News Categories: Apple

Roger Friedman for Fox News reports that Apple may soon be sued by the Beatles over the iTunes Music Store.

“Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs was such a Beatle fan that he named his company after the record label.

But the Beatles, who are notoriously protective of their rights and quite litigious, weren’t so happy with Jobs. In 1981 they made him sign something agreeing never to go into the music business in order to keep a name they had trademarked. ...

But then in the mid-1980s, Apple Computer started producing music files and software. It had to pony up $26 million when the Beatles sued, and again promised not to go into any more music businesses.

Fast forward: Since that last agreement in 1991, Apple has changed its tune. It has the iPod and iTunes. There was talk it was thinking of buying Universal Music Group.It’salso said to be having talks with Amazon.com about some sort of joint marketing venture.

It’s clear that Apple wants into the music business sooner rather than later. The Beatles, I am told, are gearing up for a fight.”

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Comments

1

Jeez.  Apple tries to do something to stem the tide of illegal digital distribution of music and what happens?  The record companies start suing.  Again.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m not buying another damn album until they stop this stupid, childish behavior and start trying to find real solutions for distributing music.

And this Apple Corps lawsuit is completely petty and ridiculous. 

Posted by adam on June 3, 2003 at 8:21 AM (PDT)

2

you would think that this might have been dealt with before they even released itunes music store, itunes, or the ipod. it was most likely some closed door deal, that none of us will ever know about. apple knows full well about apple corp, they have there butts covered in this one would think. i think the article is speculation

Posted by Dean on June 3, 2003 at 8:46 AM (PDT)

3

You will notice that the article never explicitly says that Apple Records is going after Apple Computers. What it does is lay out a REASON Apple Records might have an action but again, I feel this would have been worked out beforehand.

“The Beatles, I am told, are gearing up for a fight”
He is told…sounds like a rumor site.

“One might assume that the exclusion…”
Trying to build a case for this prior “telling”

“A source at their very tony British law firm, Eversheds, says not to read anything into this.”
Covering his tracks, knowing someone’s going to correct him for this.

“Valner does not hesitate to move against infringers of the Beatle trademark…”
Reinforcing the premise…still no facts.

“I am told, has been “in meetings” as the Apple Computer story progresses in the newspapers.”
Trying to imply that the meetings are Apple meetings?

““They are very vigilant about pursuing these things.”
More weak reinforcement.

“The question now is how vigilant the Beatles will be concerning Apple Computer’s new business interests.”
Question? I thought he was TOLD…

Posted by KenGent on June 3, 2003 at 11:44 AM (PDT)

4

“And this Apple Corps lawsuit is completely petty and ridiculous.”

And Apple’s lawsuits against others who infringe on its trademarks are also petty???

No, if you don’t protect a trademark, you can lose a trademark (ala aspirin as a generic term in the US but trademarked in Canada). Apple (as the beatles) is justified in their lawsuit (if it happens).

However, I agree with KenGent that Apple would have foolish given the history not to have already worked this out.

Time (and lawyers) will tell…..

Posted by JimLat on June 3, 2003 at 1:35 PM (PDT)

5

The Beatles sicken me, this is just pure greed, I’ve always hated their music. I hope someone gets rid of the remaining two.

Posted by tombertram on June 4, 2003 at 12:37 AM (PDT)

6

yes, i agree, the beatles are just a greedy franchise, robbing little old ladies of their pensions and taking the food out of african children’s mouths - good job there’s apple, the defenders of the poor, feeders of the third world. they will certainly fight the corner of the meek and helpless to pave the way for a brave new world empty of faceless money-hungry corporations like ringo starr.

grow up.

Posted by whataloadofcrap on June 4, 2003 at 12:57 AM (PDT)

7

######, I hope you die

Posted by tombertram on June 4, 2003 at 1:49 AM (PDT)

8

good return!

what goes around comes around, my small minded friend

Posted by whataloadofcrap on June 4, 2003 at 6:07 AM (PDT)

9

Oh please, don’t try to negate my argument by saying Apple goes after people for trademark infringement as well.  That wasn’t my point, and it would do you some good to go back to a critical thinking class and learn what a valid argument is to my post. 

I stated that record companies overall, not just Apple, are greedy as hell.  Believe me, I’ve worked with some majors before, and they’re all crooks.  So far, it looks like Def Jam, TVT, and a number of others are gearing up to sue Apple due to the fact that people are now hacking iTunes.  Never mind the fact that Apple actually had millions of downloads from the site, so they’re making SOME money.  The problem with the music industry is they want ALL the money. 

And I still think 99 cents a song is a pretty high cost. 

Posted by adam on June 4, 2003 at 7:14 AM (PDT)

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