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On Apple vs Apple 324

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the ridiculous-court-cases dept.
Since nothing else really interesting is happening, here is a CNN story about Apple vs Apple where you can read about the latest developments in the latest round of the never ending court battles as two bazillion dollar companies fight over who gets to use the word 'Apple' to sell music.
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On Apple vs Apple

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  • It's a No Brainer (Score:0, Insightful)

    by repruhsent (672799) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:02AM (#15045562) Homepage Journal
    Apple (the Beatles' music label) had the name first so they should be able to dictate what happens with the trademark when it comes to music, plain and simple. Apple (the computer company) agreed that they would only use the Apple brand for computing products. The iPod and the iTunes Music Store are definitely not computing products, so it looks like they breahced the contract.

    The music label should win. It's that simple.
  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:11AM (#15045593)
    Apple Corp is an utterly irrelevant entity that hasn't been a force in the music industry in three decades. I'm willing to bet that a good number of younger Beatles fans have no clue as to who they are. The "threat" Apple Computer poses to their trademark recognition is already nullified by its lack of mindshare. People still love the Beatles' music, but the Apple "label" is just a joke that has slipped out of the minds of many.

    Microware's laughable suit against Apple over the "OS-9" / MacOS 9" "confusion" was on more firm ground than this.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:11AM (#15045594) Homepage Journal
    Until they create their own music i dont see a problem with apple computer selling music devices ( and itunes ).

    They really are not *in* the music business, so they arent hurting apple records, so they should just shut up and appreciate the extra sales they get via beatles songs on itunes.

    Just another bloodsucker standing in line to screw the big guy.
  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:23AM (#15045630)
    While all that might be true, it doesn't change the fact there's some sort of contract between the two.

    The worst outcome in this case appears to be that Apple Inc will need to remove their logo from the iTunes program and maybe pay some money. It's not going to shut down their music ventures and doesn't seem like something that people should get too worried about.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:27AM (#15045651)
    We know the difference. The whole world knows the difference. Apple Corp==music catalog. Apple Computer==computers, software, and media/content.

    The point is moot, but Apple Corps will try to extract some fake fealty from Apple Computer.

    The lawyers win. We don't.

    Maybe Disney should by Apple Corps.... all in the family, then.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:29AM (#15045665)
    Apple records doesn't make music either. They're both distributors.

    *insert flame for not getting it, etc*
  • by KU_Fletch (678324) <bthomas1@@@ku...edu> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:32AM (#15045678)
    Go open iTMS right now. There is no Apple logo anywhere on the front page or any of their other pre-produced pages. Good thing we need a lawsuit to clear up the status quo.
  • by jav1231 (539129) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:43AM (#15045719)
    I disagree. Apple Comp. is not cutting records of bands and selling it. Anyone who thinks the trademark will be caught in confusion is an idiot or a crook. In this case, I think it's obvious. It's easy to hide behind, "We have to defend our trademark" like Apple Corp. but in reality they're either so blindly self-absorbed that they think this is really going to confuse people or they are simply suing because they can. True there was an agreement before but frankly it should have never been signed. I'm not sure iTunes constitutes a breach of that. Who knows.
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:00PM (#15045763)
    I'm actually surprised that Mcintoshlabs never took exception to apple's use of the brand "Macintosh" that i've been made aware of. Slashdot users who are unaware Mcintosh is a brand name for highfi equipment. To me it's the same issue with apple records, sort of a problem before Apple got into audio, but huge confusion after apple got into audio.
  • by Alien Being (18488) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:26PM (#15045866)
    According to http://www.roger-russell.com/mcintosh2.htm [roger-russell.com], the Macintosh Plus had a sticker that read "Apple and the Apple logo are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Macintosh is a trademark of McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. and is being used with express permission of its owner."
  • by mblase (200735) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:50PM (#15045954)
    We know the difference. The whole world knows the difference. Apple Corp==music catalog. Apple Computer==computers, software, and media/content.

    Apple Computer [apple.com] has a website, Apple Corps [applecorps.com] does not. *boggles*
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) * on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:57PM (#15045980) Homepage Journal
    Do you have proof to backup your assertions?

    If you attempt to copyright a common word like "Apple", then be prepared for trouble. Beatles may have captured the thoughts of millions of fans across the globe, but they don't own the language.
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) * on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:11PM (#15046024) Homepage Journal
    Who sued who? I don't think that Apple Computer ever sued Apple Corp. If I understand correctly, this is the fourth 1time [wikipedia.org] that Apple Records sued Apple Computers since 1981.

    Here's a very interesting part from that WP article regarding the 1991 settlement:

    "The 1991 settlement outlines the rights each company has to the Apple trademark. While Apple Corps was given the right to use the name on any "creative works whose principal content is music", Apple Computer was given the right to use the name on "goods or services...used to reproduce, run, play or otherwise deliver such content," but not on content distributed on physical media.[1] In other words, Apple Computer agreed that it would not package, sell or distribute physical music materials."

    It's fair to own a copyright when there could be confusion between two similar companies, so that a second company can't steal the thunder from the first company.

    But come on, it's been years since they heyday of Apple Corp. All of my beatle albums have a big "EMI" logo on them. Nobody is going to mistake Apple Computer for Apple Records. This is a cheap attempt for Apple Records to get money from Apple.

    For the record, I don't like Apple. But these lawsuits are pretty farging lame.
  • Pardon me... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:27PM (#15046082)
    ...but has anyone seen or read the ACTUAL complaint? Everyone is speaking up in this forum as if they KNOW what this is all about. So far, everyone seems to have the same hearsay information that I have (from the media). Is there a place where people with some intelligence can read the actual complaint to see what this is really about?

    Frankly, I think Apple Corp. is being quite juvenile as they were before the 1991 agreement was signed. In the U.S., I don't know a single person that associates the Beatles with anything but the name Beatles, so the whole Apple v. Apple thing was the Beatles just trying to generate revenue and publicity for a company that nobody knows about anyway! It sounds like the same thing all over again. F**k Paul McCartney! F**k him right in the ear, and Ringo too! I hope Apple Computer wins this one.
  • by gus2000 (177737) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @01:32PM (#15046098)
    However, we do have statements from Apple Comp's lawyer saying that data transmission and distribution of digital entertainment content are explicitly permitted under the agreement [yahoo.com]. If this is true, then Apple Corp's case is not so obvious, since Apple Comp is only reselling data and generally doing so under a separate trade name (iTunes).
  • by FlunkedFlank (737955) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:21PM (#15046293)
    This dispute has nothing to do with Beatles music being on iTunes. The Beatles music is not available via any digital store, iirc. Yes, a few of the German Tony Sheridan tracks, and 'interview' tracks, but that's about it. The major catalog is not available through any digital download means, not just iTunes. If the Beatles were trying to get back (heh) at Apple Computer, they'd license their material to Napster, or MSN, or Yahoo, or some competing network.

    Yep, in fact it goes much deeper than that. The reason they're not on iTunes has nothing at all to do with the agreement between Apple Corps and Apple Computer, it has to do with the agreement between Apple Corps and EMI, who own the rights to the recordings of all Beatles songs. Here's the deal: Neil Aspinall, the man who pretty much is Apple Corps, believes that the contract between Apple Corps and EMI does not give EMI digital distribution rights. Their contract is so old that it contains no clauses (in his opinion) that would grant them such rights. In other words, Neal Aspinall wants to be able to put the Beatles songs online directly licensed from Apple Corps, bypassing EMI completely, with the proceeds going 100% to Apple Corps. But EMI won't go down without a fight, and some people believe that if he makes such a move it could be one of the biggest legal battles in the history of the music industry. (EMI believes that the contract language added to allow them sell CDs does include digital distribution rights.) A lot would be at stake, because if Apple won then it could open the floodgates for tons of older bands to examine their contracts and fight for full digital rights because of muddy or unclear contract language. In any case, Aspinall is in no rush. He doesn't want to take on the fight just yet, but also doesn't want to conceed anything yet by signing off on digital rights.

    (This information was described in an article about Neil Aspinall that I read at some point last year, I think in Blender magazine.)
  • by anethema (99553) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:29PM (#15046507) Homepage
    While you may have a fancy low UID..you are misremembering what happened.

    Taco apended that comment to the story posting, and thus it was not moderated at all.

    Plenty of other Apple flames though.
  • When it comes to trademarks, this is basically the case.

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