“Big changes are afoot for the iPod in the wake of the Beatles settlement — the iPod is about to become the new CD,” Leander Kahney writes for Wired News.
Kahney writes, “On Monday, Apple Inc. and the Beatles’ Apple Corps announced that a 15-year legal spat over the ‘Apple’ trademark had been settled in Steve Jobs’ favor.”
“But the biggest news wasn’t mentioned at all in the joint press release: The new contract clears the way for Jobs to sell iPods loaded with music,” Kahney writes. “Who cares?”
“Well, the iPod could become the new CD, especially if Apple starts offering cheap shuffle iPods pre-loaded with hot new albums or artists’ catalogs. Imagine a whole range of inexpensive, special-edition iPods branded with popular bands containing a new album, or their whole catalogs,” Kahney writes.
Kahney writes, “Apple was prevented from doing this until now by the 15-year-old contract between Apple Corps, the Beatles’ music company, and Apple Computer. This contract precluded Jobs’ Apple from acting as a music company and from selling CDs or ‘physical media delivering prerecorded content … (such as a compact disc of the Rolling Stones’ music).’
“Apple has been selling music as downloads for years, of course, but thanks to this clause, the company couldn’t sell an iPod with music already loaded onto it,” Kahney writes. “That’s why the U2 special-edition iPod ships with a voucher for downloading the band’s catalog online. The Beatles contract prevents Apple from pre-loading the U2 iPod with U2’s music.”
Kahney writes, “That is undoubtedly going to change. Apple will soon offer a range of iPods pre-loaded with tunes… It’s going to be the biggest change to the iPod since the iTunes online store debuted in 2002.”
Full article here.
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