Apple vs. Beatles could be solved with fat check and spinning off iTunes from Apple Computer

“It seems to me that Apple Computer is doing just fine without any help from the Beatles. McCartney will not join Apple’s board, and AppleCorps will not take a big stake in Apple Computer. Much as I am a Beatles fan, this trademark complaint wouldn’t be happening if iTunes had been a failure. OK, maybe it still would have, but no one would be talking about such huge settlements if iTunes and the iPod had failed to become the cultural phenomena that they have,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for Forbes.

“Apple could make this entire thing go away by spinning off the entire iTunes Music Store as a subsidiary and stop promoting it under the Apple Computer name. This would harm its prospects not one bit. No one who’s been awake during the last year hasn’t heard of an iPod or seen it in one of those TV ads in heavy rotation. The iPod brand is turning out to be as powerful a brand name as that of its corporate parent. By itself, it’s also free of any expensive encumbrances involving musicians who haven’t done anything terribly interesting in the last few years,” Hesseldahl writes.

“That won’t change the fact that Apple Computer will probably have to cough up for the time it’s already spent promoting the iPod and iTunes under the Apple brand, but it would also take all the oxygen out of the Beatles’ legal complaints the next time they send forth their lawyers on another shakedown mission,” Hesseldahl writes. “Jobs is no slouch when it comes to business. He had to see this problem on the horizon when the iTunes business plan was first drawn up. Paying off the Beatles couldn’t help but be part of the contingency plans. This is where Apple’s $4.5 billion cash reserve will come in handy. A fat check to the Beatles won’t sting as much now as it once would have.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
The Beatles gearing up for a fight over Apple’s iTunes Music Store – June 03, 2003
The Beatles sue Apple Computer over iPod, iTunes – September 12, 2003
Sosumi: more on the Beatles’ lawsuit against Apple Computer, Inc. – September 12, 2003
Forbes: Apple vs. Apple; iTunes Music Store just might end up with exclusive Beatles deal – September 12, 2003
Apple and Apple issue statements regarding ‘Apple’ trademark lawsuit – September 12, 2003
Analyst: Apple vs. Apple trademark infringment suit just ‘a blip on the radar’ – September 13, 2003
Steve Jobs comments on Apple vs. Apple trademark dispute – September 17, 2003
Beatles’ Apple vs. Jobs’ Apple; 1991 agreement allows Mac maker ‘data transmission services, even music data’ – February 26, 2004
Fox News: Paul McCartney could end up owning Apple’s iTunes Music Store – August 14, 2004
Apple’s settlement with Beatles could be ‘biggest settlement in legal history’ – September 13, 2004

38 Comments

  1. Apple will not agree to “spin off” iPod+iTMS.

    iTMS exists to sell iPods.

    iPods exist, in turn, to sell Macs.

    G5 iMac is proof of that.

    Therefore, Apple wants to keep the corporate name associated with all its products. Apple needs the iPod+iTunes+Apple computer triad linked in the mindshare or the sales from the Halo Effect will never materialize.

  2. “Yep, that’s because the remaining members of the Beatles (McCartney & Starkey) only wrote Number Two’s… Read the lyrics to Lennon’s “How Can You Sleep”, it tells the whole story…”

    Not entirely true. Paul McCartney wrote “Yesterday”, “We can work it out”, and “Hey Jude”, among others, all of them #1 hits.
    The fact remains, however, that he has not written a single worthwhile piece in the past 25 years. He’s basically touring the clubs singing “Yesterday”. And Apple Records is a joke, these days. Oh, but somebody unearthed a few old tapes in Australia. So we’re going to have another CD with “previously unpublished” recordings.
    I have a strong feeling that John Lennon would have been on the forefront of online music. But then, he had a brain.

  3. iPods exist, in turn, to sell Macs.
    ~~~

    Not according to Steve Jobs.. someone who might know a bit more than you about this, MacSmiley..

    The reason they released a PC version of the iPod, and a PC version of iTunes is because the iPod is not meant to sell Macs…

    That was a big step for Apple.. a big gamble.. and SJ admitted the Mac sales thing would be lessened by opening up to the PC world.. but the iPod phenomenon was too big to squander…

    It was a quote on MDN/MacRumors.. sorry I dont have a link..

  4. You fellas are so forgiving when you like a company – even if it breaks laws and renegs on contractual obligations.

    So many issues raised that are just plain ridiculous!

    >”I’ve never even heard of AppleMusic”
    Are you the registrar of businesses?

    >”How about Apple Farms or Apple Sauce?”
    If those are trademarks and Apple decides to enter those markets, those companies have every right to protect their trademarks.

    >”Paul McCartney hasn’t written a hit – only #2s”
    Must you write a hit to conduct business? Has Steve Jobs written a hit? Does Betty Crocker write hits? Does Canon write hits? Does Black & Decker write hits? I’ve yet to see any of them hit the charts.

    ——

  5. You fellas are so forgiving when you like a company – even if it breaks laws and renegs on contractual obligations.

    So many issues raised that are just plain ridiculous!

    >”I’ve never even heard of AppleMusic”
    Are you the registrar of businesses?

    >”How about Apple Farms or Apple Sauce?”
    If those are trademarks and Apple decides to enter those markets, those companies have every right to protect their trademarks.

    >”Paul McCartney hasn’t written a hit – only #2s”
    Must you write a hit to conduct business? Has Steve Jobs written a hit? Does Betty Crocker write hits? Does Canon write hits? Does Black & Decker write hits? I’ve yet to see any of them hit the charts.

    ——

  6. do you have any idea how many beatle songs have already been purchased on vinyl,cassette, CD, 8-track over the last 40 years.? there’e no way in hell i’m going to repurchase any of these i already own. i’ll digitize them all myself, thankyou.

  7. bleh, this is the only way The Beatles are keeping themselves out of the ashbin of music history. Maybe Apple could come up with a new error sound to succeed Sosumi and call it the “Chapman” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  8. Steve may love the Beatles , but business is business and the buck stops here. Not one red cent. Tell Paul & Ringo to go do something if they want/need some money and tell Yoko to just go away.

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