Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beatles Finally on iTunes

The Beatles have finally agreed to allow iTunes to sell their music.
But, there's history here... I mean a lot of history.
Bad blood has existed between the worlds most famous rock band and Apple computer since 1978.


In 1968 the Beatles formed their own record label and named it "Apple Records".
Eight years later in 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozinak formed a personal computer company called "Apple Computer".
I'll bet you can see where this is going.
Apple Records...Apple Computer.
Sounds like a problem, right?...The Beatles thought so too.

In 1978 attorneys for the Fab Four filed a lawsuit against Apple (computer that is) claiming trademark infringement.
And guess what...the Beatles won. As part of the settlement Apple Computer agreed to never, ever, ever enter the music business. Hey, at the time this was an easy one. Could you envision Steve Jobs with mop-top hair singing yeah, yeah yeah.

But Apple Computer was thinking short term back then.
In 1986 Apple added audio recording software to its computers and the Beatles sued again claiming the addition violated the terms of the prior agreement which barred Apple Computer from never, ever, ever entering the music business.
The Beatles won again.

And in 1991 there was yet another suit filed between the two. When this was settled the Beatles allowed Apple Computer to sell devices which "created music", but Apple Computer agreed not to "distribute music".

I know what you are thinking and you're right.
Enter iTunes.

In 2003 Steve Jobs inflicted "the most unkindest cut of all" to the Beatles.
Apple Computer introduced the world to its highly successful "music distribution" company, iTunes...and as expected the Beatles went wild.

The iTunes lawsuit continued for four years with both parties winning partial victories within various areas of the law.
Ultimately, this lawsuit brought the major settlement that paved the way for the Beatles to become available on iTunes.

In 2007 in the settlement of the iTunes lawsuit, Apple Records and Apple Computer agreed that Apple Computer will own all trademarks related to the name "Apple" but it will license back to Apple Records certain trademarks that are needed for its London based recording business to continue.

I told you there was a lot of bad blood between the Beatles and Apple...
Its great to finally see that end.

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