A quote from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that seems to fit this very Shakespearean story of a war between two prestigious Apples...
On one side a music company called Apple Corps founded in 1968 by The Beatles and on the other a computer/software company called Apple Computer founded in 1976 that is now famous for it's product the iPod but also iTunes both of which have brought Apple Computer to the forefront of the music industry's attention.
However both companies came to an agreement in 1991 that prevented Apple (the computer one) from going into the music market. The issue seems to be with the selling of pre-recorded music. They have obviously not been able to come to some amicable agreement over this change of heart since Apple Corp has taken Apple Computer to court and a ruling is expected shortly...
Justice Edward Mann presiding over the case cut Apple Computer's lawyer short when they were explaining how Apple software worked with an "I've got it and I use it". Some articles I've read about this were curious as to why a recusal wasn't requested !!?? Also the judge is supposed to have asked each party if they minded that he himself owned an iPod. Imagine nearly getting into trouble over owning an iPod !
Some interesting information that has come out concerning this trial is that the current boss of Apple Corps, Neil Aspinall, quotes Steve Jobs as having admitted to him that Apple Computer had been named after the record label.
Can you tell the difference between the two logos ? And do you need a photo to remember who the Beatles are ? 😉
But when considering the raw facts of the case "What you will" call the real motivation is neither romantic courtship between two famous Apples nor negotiations in disguise (rumours of negotiations of inclusion of The Beatles in iTunes) but rather about bringing the opponent to his knees in order to claim the bounty.
To come back to the title, money does seem to be the reason that prevails in this case. On the one hand it is difficult to uphold that one could mistake Apple the record label with Apple Computer especially with regards to the design of the logo. The dispute however seems mainly about the fact that the agreement was that Apple Computer would not use the Apple logo to sell music which is what they are now doing...
Update: In a Washinton Post article today (April 13, 2006) it has been confirmed that the Beatles are ready to 'join the online Revolution', well, as soon as they are ready; digitally remastered versions of their songs are being made at the moment. Aspinall, quoted in the WP article, from a court statement says :
I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters
So Beatles fans like myslef will be able to get digital versions of our favourite songs, maybe from iTunes !? LOL 😉
Leave a Reply