Take a sad song, and make it better....

In May 06 I wrote (in quite a Seussical way, thank you) about the long running dispute between Apple Computer (now simply Apple, Inc.) and Apple Corps, the "record label" started by the beatles and now used as a shell company to control the tightly held Beatles music catalog.

Apple announced yesterday that a new agreement has been reached, with Apple Inc gaining control over all "apple" related trademarks, licensing the stuff needed back to Apple Corps for unlimited use.

Commenting on the settlement, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO said, “We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks. It feels great to resolve this in a positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future.”

One has to wonder, then, how long it will be before the entire Beatles catalog will be available on the iTunes music store. This is one of the last major catalogs to NOT agree to work with iTunes. I heard this morning that London odds-makers are predicting (with 8-1 odds) that when the catalog DOES make it to iTunes, Hey Jude will become the most downloaded song in iTunes history.


OneHungMan said...

OneHung heard recently that there was some rule regarding music that copyrights ran 50 years and that before long lots of Beatles and Elvis tunes were no longer going to be copyrighted.

OHM did some work about a year ago when his company was trying to copyright some things and never came across the concerns of the music industry.

However, if there is some sort of loophole that OneHung wasn't able to discover, it's possible anyone will be able to use the music of the Beatles without so much as a thank you.

Reach Upward said...

Copyrights laws regarding sound recordings is rather complex. Sound recordings made prior to 2/15/1972 are not protected by any copyright. However, the original composition upon which the recording is based could still be copyrighted.

As I read it, the copyright for an original composition extends 70 years past the death of the last contributor. Since most Beatles songs include Paul McCartney as an author, the copyright would extend to 70 years past his (future) death.

So, as I understand it, the Beatles' songs will still be copyrighted long after I kick off. See U.S. Copyright Office statute and Indiana University School of Law paper.

OneHungMan said...

Yeah, what he said.

That One Guy said...