Apple to Court Independents, May Face Beatles' Ire with iTunes Music Store

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Date: Sunday, June 19th, 2005, 14:50
Category: Archive

Yesterday brought a couple of new revelations about Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Aside from rumors Apple may join forces with Amazon.com to promote the new service, Apple now is planning to court the hundreds of independent labels it left out of the original release. The bad news is, continued success of the store may bring a battle with the Beatles. Read more . . .


Yesterday brought a couple of new revelations about Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Aside from rumors Apple may join forces with Amazon.com to promote the new service, Apple now is planning to court the hundreds of independent labels it left out of the original release. The bad news is, continued success of the store may bring a battle with the Beatles.
MTV reports Apple has invited hundreds of indie labels to its Cupertino campus for a day of demos and discussions of how they might add their catalog to the iTunes Music Store. Aside from new bands, Apple can’t sign acts like Nirvana, Hole, Soundgarden, Muddy Waters, and Allison Krause without the indies. Some big execs will be at the summit, but warn MTV that existing bands may have to be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Speaking of which, if you’ve tried searching for the Fab Four you’ve no doubt noticed that the band that was bigger than Jesus is also too cool for the iTunes Music Store, classic Think Different posters of John notwithstanding. That’s nothing personal, Beatles lawyers tell FOXNews, as the Beatles aren’t on ANY online service, and evidently don’t plan to be.
The bad news is, as some of us had already been speculating, Apple Computer could wind up in trouble with Beatles’ label Apple Corps again, thanks to its name. The FOXNews report believes buzz that Apple (the record company) is already gearing up for a battle with Apple (the computer company — or is it a record company?). Sounds plausible to me. Remember, despite a 1981 settlement with undisclosed terms, Apple Computer got into a brawl with the Beatles’ firm just for introducing multimedia Macs. The infamous Mac system beep “sosumi”, as a musical instrument, was so named for possible legal infringement of the Apple Corps deal. In fact, the big question is why there wasn’t talk of this already — or why Apple Computer wasn’t immediately on the phone to Apple Corps in the first place?
For suing Apple for shipping computers, of course, we could label Apple Corps as being reactionary, but now Cupertino is literally getting into the music biz. No one knows why Steve called his company Apple (despite Fox’s claim that the computer was named for the Beatles’ record label — others suggest the name may be a reference to his organic orchard days). But it remains a legal stumbling block.
To quote Men in Black, “I guess I’ll have to buy the White Album all over again.”
And on that note, maybe Steve’s found his solution — as a long-time Beatles fan, why have Apple buy Universal Music Group when it can just buy out the Beatles?

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