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Friday, April 14, 2006

Apple comp, Apple corp, Jackson, McCartney

Whilst Apple versus Apple isn't set to have a judgement from the, iPod using Mr Justice Mann before Easter, there is a complex web weaved around this case that is outside the British Legal sphere.
During a dinner in 1985, a 26 year old Michael Jackson and 43 year old Beatle is describing a great way to stay rich is to invest in popular music, we're not talking Steps here we're talking really popular music. After this conversation, some say slyly, Jackson outbid his former co-performer McCartney with a bid of $47 million for the publishing rights to the great majority of the Beatles songs, save a tiny number of songs which McCartney later got back. Jackson and sony merged their publishing frameworks. This was during the first set of none court cases against Jackson for inappropriate behaviour he was accused of. It is often said that Jackson sold 50% of his share to Sony totally during the 90s, in fact it was structured as a loan from the music giant. Today rumors are abound with other mounting debts from an extremely costly courtcase to prove his innocence of further allogations of child molestation. The rumors are indicating that despite his earlier protestations he would be looking to actually sell another share of the catalogue to pay off the lawyers, his debts and maybe food for the monkey. Who would he sell them too, the obvisou choice is Sony, handing them the total rights, he might try to keep hold of the most lucrative pieces. Although merely holding publishing rights doesn't give you total rights over the music, and has no effect on the actual recordings previously made you just get a cut when anyone plays them.
Could he sell them to St. Steve finally getting the Beatles in the ITMS, no probably not - that wouldn't be enough to them on ITMS anyway. One of the blockers of this is indeed McCartney himself, who claimed he would never like the songs to purchased one by one, this is, in my opinion purely a greed thing - which I think is pretty grim given the fact this guy could clear the debt of most of sub Saharan Africa by cutting a cheque and still have enough cash to buy his way into the British House of Lords.
Throw into this the words of the Neil Aspinall in court the other day that they are re-mastering the records prior to making them available for download. Could this al be smoke and mirrors using the British justice system as a publicity machine prior to relenting and putting the music on itunes. To be honest I am siding with apple computers not apple corp. For most people Apple is known as a computer company not a music company, the music store isn't known to anyone as the apple music store, it's only ever been referenced as the iTunes music store, precisely to remain within the agreements made previously by Jobs and Apple corp.
All in all, this is merely conjecture on your authors part, we'll have to wait for a court ruling, a Jackson decision but while we're waiting for those, everything might revert to Macca anyway his prophetic words from a couple of years ago
"The interesting thing is, there are actually things in the whole deal that actually revert to me anyway," McCartney claimed. "There are years approaching, there are dates approaching, that we never though would approach, where things revert to me. So really, it's a waiting game rather than a big, proactive buying game."


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