European trademark applications filed by Apple have surfaced that would finalize the transfer of The Beatles' iconic Granny Smith Apple logos from Apple Corps to Apple and expand the trademark to include technology products.
Numerous albums from legendary rock band Pink Floyd have disappeared from Apple's iTunes store, along with other digital storefronts, following the expiration of a contract between the band and its record label.
Four of the world's largest record companies have come together to create a new digital album format that will give customers lyrics, artwork and videos, in an effort to compete with Apple's own similar project, code-named "Cocktail."
In what could be a significant victory for its online music store, Apple is believed to have landed agreements not only to remove copy protection from the music of all major labels but to also allow direct music downloads to iPhones over cellular networks.
Apple is believed to be on the verge of an end-of-year push that would start by finally offering unprotected iTunes Store music from all major labels and would switch a special post-holiday campaign giving away music and videos to Europeans.
Apple is in talks with three of the "big four" record labels about offering music tracks through iTunes that would be made available in MP3 AAC format without copy protection measures, a move that could further distance the digital download service from its rivals.
Record labels are remaining on the offensive when it comes to battling iPod maker Apple Inc. for revenue share in the digital music business, with word spreading that Sony BMG will soon join the ranks of other major labels in offering its catalog through some online retailers stripped of copy protection measures.