Monday, September 15, 2003

SOSUMI. SOTHEYWILL: Every techgeek tempted out into the real world of pub quizzes and big cash prizes holds two facts that sometimes come up. One is "he took the space out of the name"; the other is "... because Apple Computers signed a deal with the Beatles that they could carry on using the same name as their record label providing they never got into the recording industry. So when they first put a musical note on an Apple, they called it sosumi. As in so sue me."

It's always seemed little more than a footnote in the history of computing, although, of course, that's always been underestimating the greedy, money-grubbing nature of At least one of the Beatles and/or their estates. The Beatles had sued once before, relieving Apple of USD 50 million and now, someone has decided that its time they shook the money tree once again. Apparently, Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney are short of cash ("the manufacturing of the iPod is an egregious breach of the agreement") and doubtless they'll get some more money to keep them out the poorhouse, despite the ridiculous nature of their complaint - how, exactly, is Apple infringing the trademark of a defunct record company? Is the marketing of the iPod really hitting sales of Mary Hopkin's back catalogue? The sight of the stinking rich suing to become even more stinking rich is a curious one - does anyone else wonder if the RIAA has gotten a chum to make things difficult for a outsider organisation who's made their members look really, really bad?

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