October 8, 1991: Apple Settles Beatles Lawsuit

by Chris Seibold Oct 08, 2010

Pick any particular date in Apple's history and there is a good chance Apple was being sued by the Beatles. The famous band and its lawyers were initially upset with the name Apple, later perturbed when the Mac came out and could be used for music, and vitriolic when Apple started selling music via the iTunes music store.

The first lawsuit was settled when Apple agreed to stay out of the music business. The rub came with the Mac and the Apple II gs and Apple's MIDI synthesizers. Apple records argued that the ability to create music on the computer was a violation of the two companies' 1981 agreement.

While publicly stating that Apple was in compliance with the earlier deal, Apple decided it was better to placate than fight and agreed to pay Apple records $26.5 million. This agreement that got Apple Records to settle down until iTunes came along was announced this week in 1991.


  • uuuhm… i really do think that apple corps has another significant source of revenue…

    eiscir had this to say on Oct 09, 2006 Posts: 23
  • “It seems like the only way for Apple Records to make money is to sue Apple”


    Le Master had this to say on Oct 08, 2007 Posts: 6
  • Apple’s computers suit being able to do midi was a little weaker in my opinion. Maybe it was just a pre-preemptive strike to try to act before Apple did more in the way of music which they eventually did. -Instant Tax Solutions

    InstantTaxSolutions had this to say on Aug 08, 2011 Posts: 10
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