Monday, March 27, 2006

For a 3rd Time, Two Apples Meet in Court - New York Times

For a 3rd Time, Two Apples Meet in Court - New York Times: "This is the third time the two companies have sparred. Apple Corps first sued Apple Computer in 1980 over the use of its name; a modest settlement was accompanied by an agreement that stipulated that Apple Computer, then a Silicon Valley start-up, would stay out of the music business. In 1989, after newer hardware and software made it easier to use Macintosh computers to synthesize sound, the Beatles' company sued again, resulting in a $26.5 million settlement in 1991 that left Macs able to edit and play back sound files but not create music. After the iTunes music store and software were introduced in April 2003, the record company filed suit a third time."

I think this is one of the most under-reported stories of the last few years, and I expect Apple Corps to perform a spectacular cashectomy on Apple Computer. It's also a classic case study in hypocrisy, as Jobs et al brazenly violate their contract with Apple Corps while using litigation in attempts to control everything from blogging college students to business partners who won't play according to Apple's whims.

A deal is a deal -- Apple signed a contract when it negotiated for the right to name its company. Fitting that Jobs was probably the person who led that deal in the first place; somehow I suspect he was most adamant, ~30 years ago, about the company name...

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