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Old 09-12-2003, 10:54 PM   #1
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Beatles sue Apple Computer

Beatles' Company Sues Apple Computer
Fri Sep 12, 6:07 PM ET Add Business - AP to My Yahoo!


By MAY WONG, AP Technology Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Beatles want to take another bite out of Apple Computer Inc.

Their record company, Apple Corps Ltd., said Friday that it was suing Apple Computer because the technology company violated a 1991 agreement by entering the music business with its iTunes online store.


When Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computer in 1977, he is said to have chosen the name in part as a tribute to the Beatles. The 1991 agreement dealt with the future use of the name "Apple" and of both companies' well-known logos.


Apple Corps, founded in 1968, is owned by Sir Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr; John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono; and the estate of George Harrison. It sued on July 4, about a month after Apple Computer launched its iTunes Music Store, a download music service.


The Beatles' suit, filed in the High Court in London, seeks an injunction to enforce the terms of the 1991 agreement, and monetary damages for the alleged contract breach.


"Unfortunately Apple and Apple Corps now have differing interpretations of this agreement and will need to ask a court to resolve this dispute," said Katie Cotton, an Apple Computer spokeswoman.


The stakes could be high: Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold more than 10 million songs at 99 cents each since its April 28 launch, and is central to Apple's strategy to promote its computers as digital entertainment hubs.


Shares of Apple closed Friday at $23.10, up 54 cents, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.


The London lawsuit is the latest legal spat between the two cultural icons.


In 1981, the Beatles, who had released most of their recordings on the Apple label, sued Apple Computer over the corporate name. The case ended after the tech company agreed to only use the name for computer products, according to Apple Corps.


A decade later, the Beatles sued again, alleging Apple Computer was violating the initial agreement by using its apple logo on music-synthesizing products. That case was settled out of court with Apple Computer paying an undisclosed amount to the Beatles company and signing the agreement around which the latest lawsuit revolves.


Terms of the 1991 settlement were kept confidential, with Apple Computer allotting $38 million at the time to settle the litigation.


Some think the latest case may lead only to a walk down penny lane.


Charles Wolf, analyst with Needham & Co., predicted Friday that the two companies will settle if a judge doesn't throw out the lawsuit.


The Cupertino-based company is already paying hefty royalties to the five major record labels for the right to distribute their music online. It pays the labels an estimated 65 cents per song in addition to about 25 cents per song in other distribution and credit card processing fees.


Wolf thinks the Beatles company would only manage to exact perhaps a half penny per song from Apple.


"They'll never stop the iTunes Music Store," Wolf said. "The point of the suit is to collect money and they won't get any money if they cut off the store."


Wolf thinks Apple Computer's lawyers must have considered the Beatles agreement prior to the online music store launch.

"They named it the 'iTunes Music Store,' right?" Wolf said. "They must have thought about this because (the name) 'Apple Music Store' has more brand equity."
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:15 PM   #2
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i'm glad to see they're being this damn petty. anything to get an extra buck.
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:47 PM   #3
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hahahahaha

i blame paul mccartney for everything stupid-beatles related these days....that whole mccartney-lennon vs. lennon-mccartney thing....
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:56 PM   #4
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i blame michael jackson for winding up paul

in fact i blame michael jackson for everyhting
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Old 09-13-2003, 12:13 AM   #5
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i find it funny that an artist is suing a company that is trying to solve the problem of illegal music downloading.
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Old 09-13-2003, 01:04 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Sweet Tart
i find it funny that an artist is suing a company that is trying to solve the problem of illegal music downloading.
yes! it may also be worth noting that the beatles refused to take part in itunes to begin with. they were approached for that in the first place, so they knew what they were up to from the get go. seems to me like they (esp. paul) are surprised as to how well it's going, given that only ~1% of computer users use a mac. just think of how much popular it'll get when they unveil the pc version of itunes. so now they see $$$ and want a piece of the pie. greed will do that to you.
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Old 09-13-2003, 02:06 PM   #7
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Egads. It's amazing that some people *never* have enough $$.
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Old 09-13-2003, 07:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes

yes! it may also be worth noting that the beatles refused to take part in itunes to begin with. they were approached for that in the first place, so they knew what they were up to from the get go. seems to me like they (esp. paul) are surprised as to how well it's going, given that only ~1% of computer users use a mac. just think of how much popular it'll get when they unveil the pc version of itunes. so now they see $$$ and want a piece of the pie. greed will do that to you.
Actually, that statistic is 5%.

btw, Paul McCartney is an asshole for changing the "Lennon-McCartney" credits around. Get over it, Paul. I love the Beatles, but
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:33 AM   #9
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Originally posted by senrab
Actually, that statistic is 5%.
oh. i'd heard the 1% thing from some article, i guess they were wrong!

and i'm glad i'm not the only one who thinks paul has been a jerk where the beatles are concerned as of late.
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Old 09-14-2003, 10:29 AM   #10
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Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes

oh. i'd heard the 1% thing from some article, i guess they were wrong!

and i'm glad i'm not the only one who thinks paul has been a jerk where the beatles are concerned as of late.
Yeah, I think I read the 5% from one of Steve Jobs' speeches or something...I don't have any source information but I am certain it was 5%.

I wasn't a big McCartney fan even before he wanted to change the songwriting credits around...I can't stand his solo work. Lennon was always the bigger talent, and his songs definitely had more of an edge.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by senrab
Yeah, I think I read the 5% from one of Steve Jobs' speeches or something...I don't have any source information but I am certain it was 5%.

I wasn't a big McCartney fan even before he wanted to change the songwriting credits around...I can't stand his solo work. Lennon was always the bigger talent, and his songs definitely had more of an edge.
hehe, well i like the 5% figure better because more people should use macs. when it comes time for me to buy a new comp, i just may buy a mac.

i agree with you, too. i'm not a big beatles fan, but you can definitely see john lennon was the main talent. paul kept them more in the mainstream, especially once they started moving away from their poppy beginnings. i'm not saying that's good or bad. but i can't stand paul solo at all, or wings.
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes
john lennon was the main talent. paul kept them more in the mainstream, especially once they started moving away from their poppy beginnings. i'm not saying that's good or bad. but i can't stand paul solo at all, or wings.
Watch out. Them's is fighting words. Paul was equally talented as John while in the Beatles, if not better. As for the solo work, well, 90% of Lennon's was terrible.
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