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Monday, March 10, 2008


Reports in the British press have Paul McCartney inking a $400 million deal to put the Fab Four's back catalog on Apple's iTunes music store.

Almost two years ago, Apple (formerly Apple Computer) and the Beatles' Apple Corps were involved in a long-running trademark dispute over the use of the Apple trademark. (Originally, Apple Computer had made an agreement with Apple Corp that would have kept it out of the music business; a lack of foresight from Apple Corps limited the restriction to physical media, clearing the way for Apple's iTunes store without infringement.)

One result of the very public trademark trial was that former Apple Corps manager Neil Aspinal revealed that Apple Corps was in the process of remastering the Beatles' entire back catalog for digital distribution. Apple Corps is also known to have approached companies like Apple and Microsoft with offers of high-priced, exclusive windows of opportunity to make the Beatles' music available for download; obviously, there weren't any takes because, aside from some limited music instructional material, the Beatles' music is not legally available via download.