The long and winding road of the Apple v. Apple battle appears to have finally come to an end, as a British judge has decided the case in favor of the American computer company. In the most recent episode, Apple Corps, the record label owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and the estate of George Harrison, had sued Apple Computer, saying that the iTunes Music Store violated an earlier settlement in which Apple Computer had agreed not to sell music. However, Apple Computer argued that the iTunes service only sold data, and the judge agreed, and told them so. "I find no breach of the trademark agreement has been demonstrated," he said. "The action therefore fails." Steve Jobs commented that he was glad that the battle was over, and added, "we have always loved the Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes Music Store." You mean, you'll be selling Beatles data, right Steve?

Update: If you'd like to pore over it, the full legal decision has been posted by The Times. In the decision, the Judge says a key factor in ruling for Apple Computer was the fact that "for Computer to cross into Corps' territory with its mark it would have to have indicated, by its use of the mark, that Computer was the source or origin of the music. ... The ownership of the rights is always attributed to the correct person within the ITMS and in the track information on any downloaded track."

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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Apple Computer prevails over Beatles' Apple Corps