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Apple Computer vs. Apple Corps

Dear Apple Corps:

I was a huge Sesame Street fan growing up. My parents didn't let us watch most of the junk of TV but Sesame Street was on the approved list. And so I became quite familiar with the show and and some of its memorable songs. The "pinball" song that counts from 1-12, or Ernie's "Rubber Ducky" song, or my favorite "One of these things is not like the other" which was used to teach small children how to differentiate between things that are similar but different.

Seeing as you, the executives at Apple Corps--the music publishing label responsible primarily for The Beatles music--didn't appear to have watched much Sesame Street to learn this valuable elementary skill, I felt it would be useful to help you out a bit.

Here's a list of things that have similar names but are not the same:

1) General Mills makes breakfast cereal. General Motors makes automobiles.
2) Discovery Channel is a television station. Discover Card is a credit card company.
3) Cisco makes networking switches. Sysco is a large food distributor.

See the pattern, Apple Corps? Just because two things have similar names, doesn't mean they are in competition with each other. I know your fear is that legions of confused consumers might end up wandering aimlessly around the growing number of Apple Stores looking for Beatles music but really, have a little more faith in the intelligence of your customers. After all, I don't hear stories of restaurants suddenly getting deliveries of Catalyst switches instead of potatoes, or people shopping for their Lucky Charms at their local dealership.

Instead you give us another lawsuit over the Apple brand name. This has been legally settled several times in the past with Apple Computer paying you many millions of dollars. Give it a rest. Apple Computer has single-handedly saved the music industry from obsolescence and helped it migrate to the digital future. Millions of people are buying songs from the iTunes Music Store, netting a profit for all parties involved (though the benefit to the artist is still questionable), and yet arguably the single most popular band of all time is still missing from the most popular downloadable music store. All for a stupid argument over a name?

Sesame Street taught me to understand the differences between similar things, but it also taught me that greed is bad and that underestimating people is a mistake. I would love to see the statistics on the little search box that Apple Computer includes in their iTunes program. How many people do you think are searching the ITMS every day for Beatles music to buy? I'm willing to bet it's a very large number. Every day that Beatles music isn't available for sale on the iTunes Music Store is a day that you lose. Get a clue and release your substantial and popular music library to the iTunes Music Store and stop beating that dead legal horse. Few, if any, of your customers care about the name of your record label or that it's similar to the name of a popular computer company.

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