The Beatles vs Apple Computers

I’m getting ready to leave. As usual, I’m dragging my feet a little bit. But hell, I didn’t get home until 19:00 Saturday evening. I don’t even feel like I’ve been home.
Mostly I’m writing because I just came across an article about how Apple Computers is about to go back to court to try to settle a lawsuit brought against them by the Beatles’ Apple Corps. Back when Apple Computers started, they had to sign an agreement with The Beatles promising not to get into the music business. This meant that they would not form a record company. Or at least that’s the general consensus. The Beatles Apple Corps contends that Apple’s iPod and iTunes constitute being in the music business, and apparently want compensation.
This whole thing is absolutely ridiculous.
First, there’s the stunning arrogance of The Beatles in thinking that they can copyright and trademark the word “Apple”. Does this mean that every time I eat an apple I should send 10¢ to Paul McCartney?
Second, few people other than Beatles fans even know that the Beatles’ record company was called Apple, so any contention that people might confuse Apple Computers with Apple Corps is a far reach. If you mention the word “apple” to most people today, who the hell immediately thinks of The Beatles?
Third, let’s not kid ourselves. This is all about money. Paul McCartney just doesn’t have enough of it. I’m sure he’s still bitter that Michael Jackson bought the rights to The Beatles’ music, but come on. The guy’s been basking in the Beatles legacy for about thirty years now, without adding much to that legacy since his Wings days. The man and The Beatles are just not relevant when compared to the revolution that’s going on with digital music.
In short, I think The Beatles should get the hell out of the way and let the rest of us move on. The smartest move they could make would be to shut the hell up and allow Beatles songs to be sold on iTunes. I know that I probably would have downloaded quite a bit of it had it been available. I am not so inclined to buy Beatles albums when I would only want a handful of songs from each. I’m certainly not inclined to buy anything with Apple Corps’ logo on it.
Paul McCartney should be graceful and go sit quietly on the ash heap of history where he belongs. It says a lot that I feel that way, because I genuinely used to like the guy. This “apple” stuff has made me see him for what he is. Just another greedy old man, living on past glories and trying to cash in as best as he can.

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