All You Need is Love… and iLife

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial

The first time I heard that the Beatles’ AppleCorp had sued Apple Computer, Inc. back in 1981 over the “Apple” name, it stung. Then when AppleCorp and Apple Computer settled another lawsuit in 1989, I was somewhat disappointed that the Beatles felt entitled to additional financial compensation from Apple Computer. And now that AppleCorp is planning to take Apple Computer back to court for a third time, I am absolutely outraged.

As a product of the final years of baby-boomerdom (1960), I grew up listening to my two older brothers’ hand-me-down Beatles’ albums (ancient large music discs made of black vinyl plastic). When I was very young my older brother, Ted, had me convinced that Paul McCartney was the greatest man on earth (behind God and himself, of course). My friends and I would often pretend to be the Beatles, and I proudly took on the role of Ringo Starr and used an old tree stump as my drum set.

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There are 8 comments on All You Need is Love… and iLife:

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  1. Jason | Jul 26 2005 - 11:59

    Do You Want To Know a Secret? Well, it’s not a secret – everyone knows that you Can’t Buy Me Love, but you sure can hire a lawyer or a Tax Man to take away other people’s legitimate earnings.

    Lying, conniving, thieving attorneys are Here, There and Everywhere, and they’re ready to Help cold-blooded corporate cronies line their pockets with Money!

    I mean really, hippies of Lennon’s & McCartney’s era spoke nothing but Words of Love. I too believed in that as a child, and I learned if there’s a business dispute, that We Can Work It Out.

    I Don’t Want to Spoil The Party, but that seems like a bunch of hooey based on your actions. Did you look at Macintosh’s success and think to yourself “I’ll Get You!”?? Clearly you lost sight of your roots. It seems that you had to Hide Your Love Away and whip out the guns for the supposed benefit of your K1s and 401-Ks. Boo! You were already so successful that you had your own Ticket to Ride for life – for generations!

    If I had any advice to give you, I’d say fire your lawyers, meditate a bit and just Think For Yourself (or Think Different!), find your Inner Light – you may even want to consult the Lady Madonna if that’s your thing. Just quit being greedy and cold.

    I’m So Tired of bogus lawsuits! Lucky for me, I Feel Fine despite the glaring reminder of hypocrisy. Maybe you’ll have a change of heart… maybe It Won’t Be Long, or maybe it’ll happen When I’m Sixty Four.

  2. Paul | Jul 27 2005 - 04:08

    Dear Ben:

    Please save some of your shock and outrage for Mr. iPed!

    In fact, I think the Beatles have a stronger case!

  3. Ben | Jul 27 2005 - 05:19

    I sure appreciate the feedback here. Jason’s response is a classic and it is very, very clever. I love the way he uses Beatles song titles to express his points. I love it.

    Hey Paul, you might be right that the Beatles may have a strong case, but just beause someone has legal grounds to sue, doesn’t mean that they should sue. The Beatles may be able to lay claim to their recognizable brand in the name Apple, but the boys hadn’t used it in years until the Beatles Anthology was produced. I can’t imagine anyone being confused between Apple Records and Apple Computer or especially iTunes Music Store. I know of several Apple car dealerships, but I never expected to run into any Beatles while shopping for a car there.

    As for the iPod vs. iPed, you have to admit that Thoughtout knew exactly what they were doing and intentionally attempted to ride on the coat tails of one of the hottest brand names going TODAY!

    Again, thanks for the great feeback, thanks for the opportunity for discussion, and thanks to Adam for this terrific website.

  4. maccast | Jul 27 2005 - 05:17

    Sorry, I have to correct you on the iPed statement. I have had long conversations with Mike from THOUGHTOUT and “riding the coat tails” of the iPod was never even a thought when naming the product. The name was supposed to be iPedistal, but in a search it was revealed the name was already in use, so it was shortened to iPed. That’s it, pure and simple.

  5. Ernest | Jul 27 2005 - 06:52

    Hmmm…. I don’t think the Beatles have much to do with the Apple Records label anymore. The publishing rights to the Beatles songs were owned by Michael Jackson since 1985 (he paid $47 million) In 1995 Jackson and Sony merged their music publishing businesses, so Sony/ATV Music Publishing have jointly owned most of the Beatles songs since; except, that Paul McCartney bought back the rights to “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me,” “P.S. I Love You,” and “Tell Me Why.” As to the Apple Records label itself, it ws founded in 1968 by the Beatles, but with the legal dissolution of the Beatles in 1974 it went to the holding company Apple Corps, Ltd. The deal was that the Beatles would get five percent (each) of the profits from Beatles albums and Apple Records would get 80%. The company was profitable until 1984, when they began to lose money. (Interesting coincidence–the year the Mac was released; but, I digress…) The first suit brought by Apple Corps, Ltd. against Apple Computer, Inc. was in 1978–four years after the Beatles we dissolved. That suit was settled in 1981. Another suit happened in 1986 and another in 1991–each time settling out of court. The most recent suit started in 2003 and is ongoing. It concerns iTunes and the iPod. So, don’t cast the Beatles as Blue Meanies. I think Apple Computer should just buy Apple Corps and be done with it. It’s what Howard Hughes would have done. (How’s that for a non-sequitur?)

  6. Ben | Jul 27 2005 - 07:45

    I must apologize if my last response sounded uncaring and callus. I understand how difficult and painful this situation must be for the people involved. Given the fact that iPed = iPedestal, and is a music player pedestal, I understand how there shouldn’t be any confusion between an iPod and an iPed, but the names are just too darn close. Thought Out should have realized this would be a problem even if it was an honest mistake. I do not mean to offend anyone, and I do share great sympathy for the principals at Thought Out

  7. Uncle Deercamp | Jul 28 2005 - 08:31

    Ben, don’t let them snow you. It was a calculated move to name their product the way they did.

    Any company that tacks a lower case “i” in front of anything these days is trying to do one thing: capitalize on the popularity of the iPod.

    And the more it sounds like iPod, the better.

  8. Mike | Jul 28 2005 - 06:40

    Telling everyone so that it is clear. The “iPed” branding name was created just as stated in the past from another word “iPed-estal”. We did realize the closeness to the “iPod” branding name, we did not think it was confusing to the consumer. Registered Trade Mark LAWS make APPLE apparently disagrees. With that said, iMac has branding confusion too, can we say iMic? and so many more…..

    Take it from me….many companies have been or will be changing branding and company names due to situations like this one. I cannot disclose of them but you will find out in due time. There are some that are quite obvious. Look up iPodlounge!

    The most frustrating thing of all is that the iPod has tremendous followers, that is mostly created by the market tactics of APPLE letting all of these companies create iPODish words and branding similarities. This awareness created by these companies creates a FLURRY of persuaded people thinking this is the must have device….the iPod! It has obviously worked. Now pulling the plug on these companies (due to Registered Trade Mark LAWS that say you have to protect your property) I fear could create the opposite effect for Apple. My thoughts are, shame on them for letting LAWYER’s make marketing decisions for their company.

    Our new branding name is a blessing in certain degrees. While we do love Apple products and will continue creating accessories for them, we look forward to showing all creativity to other markets. The Ped rebranding name hopefully separates the Pedestals more from the iPod exclusivity it had with the iPed name.