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Thread: Apple vs Apple

  1. #1
    Senior Member Michaelwagner's Avatar
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    Apple vs Apple

    I found this interesting ... especially the bit where Apple (the computer people) claims they aren't distributing music online.

    I pruned bits out to be on point for this group. You can read the original here:
    http://www.pulse24.com/Business/Top_...7-001/page.asp

    two of the world’s best known names head to court in London, England this week, over a company name and some music that’s not even available.

    The titans in this drama are no less than the surviving Beatles and Apple, the computer giant created by uber-genius Steve Jobs.

    [...]

    five years after Jobs created his own Apple in 1976, the Beatles sued over the use of that name. They won an $80,000 settlement, garnering a promise that the Mac maker would forever stay out of the music business.

    Fast forward to 1989 [...]The remaining rockers won a $26 million settlement that allowed the computer company to reproduce data on its products, with a vow that they’d never be involved in distributing music.

    Which brings us to the present day [...] The Beatles’ old record label is still around and reps accuse the online firm of violating that agreement, reached in 1991.

    At issue: whether the agreement made more than a decade earlier over tapes and CDs also applies to something no one could have foreseen – the rise of MP3 players and online music sales.

    Apple argues it’s only swapping data online – not actual music, so it hasn’t violated the old deal.

  2. #2
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    LOL!

    And Apple argues it’s only swapping data online – not actual music, so it hasn’t violated the old deal.
    Yeah, that argument works well with the RIAA in P2P lawsuits, I'll bet. ;-)

    "But Your Honour, I wasn't downloading music, I was downloading data. It just happens to create music when I play it in my player - it's magic!"

  3. #3
    Senior Member funkstar's Avatar
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    Once look at www.apple.com/itunes/ and it is pretty clear to me who is in the wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by apple site
    iTunes 6
    The best digital jukebox and #1 music download store
    so thats a *music* download store, not a data download store

  4. #4
    Senior Member konut's Avatar
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    Apple Computers has a service called iTunes Music Store that sells files it creates from artists that produce original music. Apples Records sells original music by artists it has under contract. If Apple Computers got into the business of actually creating music then I could see why there might be a problem. A word to the wise. If you're an artist who creates music while actually eating an apple, I'd keep it under your hat.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Michaelwagner's Avatar
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    the quote is
    a vow that they’d never be involved in distributing music.
    not that they wouldn't hire and record musicians under contract.

    Apple's point (the British Apple) is that once Steve's Apple starts distributing music, it's too similar in brand to the British Apple that distributes music.

    It's at the retail end that brand distinction is important, where the consumer picks up a song and says "Oh, hey, this tune's from Apple" and is likely to be confused about which Apple it is.

    The fact that one Apple actually signs artists and the other only copies music files prepared by others is irrelevant at retail (the artists care, no doubt, but that's irrelevant to branding).

  6. #6
    Senior Member funkstar's Avatar
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    The heart of the problem is that Apple Records never liked Apple Computers being called Apple at all. They eventually agreed to live together as long as Apple Computers never ventured into music, which they now have.

    I'm sure there will be a lot of legalese describing what Apple Computers can and cannot do as per their settlement in 1991. The question is not if you can confuse the two companies but whether Apple computers have broken the previous agreement.

    To me it looks like they have. but then i'm not a lawer or a judge (appart from of character, and a bad one at that)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Michaelwagner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkstar
    The question is not if you can confuse the two companies but whether Apple computers have broken the previous agreement.
    True. And a good point. With that said, it is at heart an agreement that came out of a brandname dispute, and brand name disputes are generally about whether a reasonable customer could confuse them.

    To me it looks like they have.
    Me too.

    But that wasn't my point in posting. They're using the old p2p arguments that, in other venues, they've argued against.

    "It's not music, it's just bits."

  8. #8
    Brian Curtis
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    Re: Apple vs Apple

    The article posted mis-quoted what Apple Computer is actually
    arguing. This is from an article in Tidbits:

    "One of the interesting developments of Apple Corps' current lawsuit
    is that previously undisclosed details of the companies' 1991
    settlement have become public. In 1991, Apple Corps agreed to let
    Apple Computer use its own marks on items which fell within Apple
    Corps field of use (e.g., entertainment), so long as Apple Computer
    didn't sell "physical media delivering pre-recorded content." An
    example in the agreement bars Apple Computer from selling a CD of
    Rolling Stones songs.
    <http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/j...j2468/apple-v-
    apple.htm>

    As most people know, the iTunes Music Store doesn't sell physical
    media: it sells digital tracks which customers download and play on
    their computers, an iPod, or (with some determination) other music
    devices. The main question before the U.K. court is whether, in legal
    terms, those digital versions of recorded audio constitute "physical
    media." Some analysts say Apple's iTunes service falls safely within
    the bounds granted to Apple Computer outlined in the 1991 agreement;
    others say Apple Corps will walk away with a gargantuan ruling."

    http://www.tidbits.com/tb-issues/TidBITS-822.html#lnk5

  9. #9
    NOT a Slim Devices Employee kdf's Avatar
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    Re: Apple vs Apple

    Apple and Apple are both wrong. They should not feed lawyers. It is
    an overpopulated species already, and this just makes them even more
    prone to encroaching on human populations.
    -k

  10. #10
    Senior Member funkstar's Avatar
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    very well said kdf

    I do believe that Apple Computer have, in the past, sold "physical media delivering pre-recorded content.". I could be wrong, but didn't the special edition black and red U2 iPod come with their new album pre-loaded onto it? I'm pretty sure an iPod constitutes "physical media" and love them or hate them, a U2 album is "pre-recorded content"

    of course all this will take months if not years to hrash out in the ocurts anyway

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