Apple and Beatles close to a deal on back catalogue

16 Nov 2010

The long-running dispute between technology firm Apple Inc and legendary band The Beatles’ Apple Corp is understood to be close to resolution and soon the band’s back catalogue could feature on iTunes.

Strange, the first thing I looked up when iTunes first became available as an online store in Ireland around 2004 was actually The Beatles and I was stumped I couldn’t find anything.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the trademark infringement dispute between Apple Inc and Apple Corp has been ongoing since 1978, when Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were building their first computers.

Future Human

It’s a testament to the pair that they didn’t back down, if you ask me, in the face of demands from a world-renowned rock band.

A hard day’s night

Over the years, there have been several lawsuits, with Apple Inc agreeing each time it had no intention of entering the music business.

But with the onset of iTunes, hostilities opened again until a British judge ruled in the technology company’s favour and ordered The Beatles’ Apple Corp to pay its costs.

Since then, there have been skirmishes, but two years ago former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney said the full digitally remastered back catalogue will be coming to iTunes.

The latest deal, however, is far from a fait accompli and one of the Apples could emerge bruised.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years