November 16, 2010
Apparently the big announcement tomorrow doesn’t have to do with cloud computing or the Verizon iPhone. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will announce that it has come to an agreement to bring Beatles music to the iTunes store. The vast Beatles catalog has been missing from iTunes, since the service debuted, and for good reason. Apple and the Fab Four’s record label, EMI Group have long had disagreements with each other dating back to 1978. At that time, the company (then known as Apple Computer) was sued by Apple Corps Ltd., for copyright infringement. Apple Corps Ltd. was a wholly owned entity controlled by the Beatles. The lawsuit was settled in 1981 for an undisclosed sum and a guarantee that the Cupertino, California-based company wouldn’t compete in the music business. In 1989, Apple Corps Ltd. sued again since Apple Computer had allowed users to control music with their hardware. In 1999, that suit was settled with Apple Computer paying roughly $29 million to the band. When iTunes debuted in 2001, another suit followed. This time Apple Corps Ltd. lost. Finally in 2007, both sides ended their feud. Apple Inc. (as it was, and is named) agreed to give Apple Corps Ltd. control of the long disputed trademarks. According to The Wall Street Journal:
The deal resulted from talks that were taking place as recently as last week among executives of Apple, representatives of the Beatles and their record label, EMI Group Ltd,, according to these people. These people cautioned that Apple could change plans at the last minute.I love the Beatles and am happy to see their music finally being included in iTunes, if in fact, this is true. However, am I the only one that looks at this rumor as nothing more than a huge letdown? Leave your comments below.