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Thoughtful Commentary on Apple vs. Apple

Thoughtful Commentary on Apple vs. Apple

by , 5:30 PM EDT, October 1st, 2004

We spotted an editorial about the Apple Corps. vs. Apple Computer legal battle that we found to be thoughtful. Bill Thompson wrote about the subject for, and he touched upon such issues as the current payment structure for downloads, The Beatles building on the works of rock and roll pioneers that came before them, DRM schemes, and other issues. Most of the coverage of this case has dealt more with the legal issues and background history between the two companies, making Mr. Thompson's broader look an interesting one. From the editorial:

When Apple Corps settled for their $30 million back in 1991 few people from my generation, let alone my children's, would have confused the two because nobody had heard of Apple Corps.

And now they want another $15 or perhaps $25 million for songs they wrote and worked on over thirty years ago, despite the fact that Paul and Ringo are rich beyond the ambitions of nearly every one of us and John and George are dead.

While it's reasonable that creative artists should be rewarded for their work, this does seem to be rather excessive. The Beatles have made a lot of money from their fans, and they have in return given many of us a great deal of pleasure.

In the days they set up Apple Corps they were radical hippies who challenged the establishment in many ways.

Wouldn't it be nice if they did the same thing now, and made the music available without rights management systems, under a non-commercial Creative Commons license that let others reuse their songs? It would be a wonderful gesture to the future, recognising that the Fab Four only succeeded because they were inspired by those who came before, taking riffs and musical forms from others.

There's a lot more in the full article, which we found to be thoughtful and interesting.

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