Monday, May 08, 2006

A win for Apple?

The news that Apple Computers has won the case brought by The Beatles’s Apple Corps has spread like wildfire. Most online newslets immediately posted the decision on their front site as The New York Times, The Times of London, Clarin and CNN, between others, did.
But, has Apple Computers really won? In addition of leaving the case wide open for appeal (the conclusions of the judge are not necessary supported by the reality of iTunes and the music market), the case sets the precedent that Apple’s iTunes business is ONLY about the transmission of data, which automatically would preclude them to follow what many music analysts see as their natural step: to become a really big and powerful music label.
My previous, very short, blog mentioned what would happen if Apple decides to sell unsigned artists via iTunes, a move already started by other online music companies, and by winning this case for the reasons it was won Apple might certainly have shot itself in the foot. According to The Times of London “Lord Grabiner, QC, for Apple Computer, [said] that "only a moron in a hurry" could confuse his client's download system - which, he said, was basically transmitting data - with a record label.” A more sensible argument could be put forward attacking the 1991’s agreement due to Apple Corps being more a conduit to administer The Beatles music than a current and active record label.
We will have to wait for the appeal, and then time will tell how wise has Apple Computers been for not just paying and renegotiate the agreement…

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