April 11, 2003 5:40 AM   Subscribe

Annual Income is a required field in the registration...

Anyone have an account? It keeps telling my my password and confirm password don't match (even though they are both pasted from the clipboard).
posted by stevengarrity at 6:13 AM on April 11, 2003

username: metafilter2
password: metafilter2
posted by stevengarrity at 6:16 AM on April 11, 2003

When is everybody gonna merge into one big company and just get it over with?
posted by jonmc at 6:19 AM on April 11, 2003

lord, why must we all waste 10 minutes & give up a valid email address & then confirm that email address (& also offer a home address & a tel.# & an annual household income) - as stevengarrity mentioned *as required fields* every single bloody time we encounter a newspaper/news source we haven't used before?!?

& then!! ah ahhh, when i'm at an internet cafe i always forget which disposable email account & password i used.

...apologies for derailing your post, raaka, but i just wanted to get this off my chest. perhaps somebody could explain how & why links from sites such as drudge manage to leap over these evil 'please register or log in' fences.

p.s thanks stevengarrity for registering for us all... what's our annual income, i wonder??
posted by n o i s e s at 6:24 AM on April 11, 2003

If youw ant to NOT have to register, just go to

It's one of their headlines.

But in other news - aside from bitching about registration, what are the thoughts on this potential move?
posted by tgrundke at 6:27 AM on April 11, 2003

Normally I'm not a big fan of Applefilter, but wow, this could be absolutely huge. Mother-paradigm-fookin'-shift huge. Could cause some interesting dissention in the ranks at the RIAA too. Bit early to tell on all fronts, though.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:29 AM on April 11, 2003

Yeah, and Sony is going to buy Apple for the fifth time. I'll believe that Vivendi has contracted with Apple on the music service Jobs will deliver at the end of the month, but not this. Oh, and I like Sriracha on my crow.
posted by machaus at 6:42 AM on April 11, 2003

Oh, and as an aside, Apple's total asset value is equal to the rumored purchase price of Vivendi. I don't know much about finance. Is there a historical precedent or method for a buyout of like sized companies?
posted by machaus at 6:47 AM on April 11, 2003

Isn't it illegal for Apple to have a recording / music publishing division? I distinctly remember a story about Apple agreeing with "Apple Records" that they'd never produce music. This seems to say that Apple have already lost one legal battle over this.
posted by seanyboy at 6:47 AM on April 11, 2003

Plus - This from the Guardian... The name and logo of the computer company is believed to be a reference to Apple Records, home of the Beatles. Apple Records wasn't too happy about this, and forced Apple Computers into signing a "no music" agreement. A few years later, Apple Computers introduced a short system sound consisting of (I think) three notes. They called it the "sosumi" (so sue me). Apple Records did, and lost.
posted by seanyboy at 6:52 AM on April 11, 2003

As far as I'm aware apple settled with Apple Recordings (now defunct anyway).

This would be crazy if true - enough with the mergers! This will not benefit us consumners at all
posted by twistedonion at 6:56 AM on April 11, 2003

As long as they don't call it "Apple Music" or something like it it's probably OK, seanyboy. Maybe they slipped Paul and Yoko a few million to cover themselves.

Given that EMI and BMG are busy cranking out copy-controlled I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-a-CD!s, most of which declare their incompatibility with Macs (even though not all of them actually are), Apple has to reassure its potential iPod customers that there will in fact be something left for them to rip, mix, burn by the end of 2003. Buying a music company seems pretty sensible in that context.
posted by rory at 6:58 AM on April 11, 2003

Apple's policy is heavily medai orientated. This move makes a lot of sense - they're launching a music service soon, aren't they? This gives them a large base from which to work for that.

Then there's Microsoft's DRM strategy - if Apple has Universal, then it minimizes the potential damage this could cause to them. Mind you, Microsoft owns a large chuck of Apple..

Vivendi are in a crapload of debt, so would doubtless be more than willing to wipe off some of that by offloading Universal..

Who knows, maybe we'd then have a music company who actually advocate mp3 use :)
posted by Mossy at 7:20 AM on April 11, 2003

Apple Recordings (now defunct anyway).
No they're not.

When is everybody gonna merge into one big company and just get it over with?
But that's bolshevism!
posted by Grangousier at 7:26 AM on April 11, 2003

I think this is great news. It would give Apple tremendous leverage to determine the future of music distribution technology. This would be a great balance to the stupidity that M$ and the music co's are trying to foist on the world.

I don't recall the terms of the settlement with Apple Music - A large dollar payout, but not sure what else. It would be a kick if the "Apple Music" label could be revived as part of this deal!

Is there a historical precedent or method for a buyout of like sized companies?

It's quite common for the purchaser to worth a lot less than the company they purchased. This is what's known as a leveraged buyout. Apple historically has liked to have lots of cash in the bank, so it's not clear how much debt they'd want to take on. Clearly, though, they'd need to take on some kind of debt to make this happen.

This is certainly a high risk strategy, but Apple desperately needs a breakout strategy if they are going to survive. 3% of the PC business isn't sustainable, and little tweaks to OS X aren't going to change that.

BTW, stock is down 6% on the news. Good buying opportunity!
posted by alms at 7:30 AM on April 11, 2003

Mind you, Microsoft owns a large chuck of Apple.

$150 million is not a large chunk.
posted by machaus at 7:31 AM on April 11, 2003

A chunkette?
posted by i_cola at 7:46 AM on April 11, 2003

On the one hand, the music biz needs a dramatically different business model if it is going to survive, and Jobs is probably more likely than anyone else to be able to accomplish that. On the other hand, the concept of a bunch of computer geeks trying to make it in the entertainment biz gives me fears of yet another Time Warner/AOL fiasco. Having had careers in both tech and music I can tell you first hand, these are extremely different worlds, culturally speaking.
posted by spilon at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2003

Cor, is that all? Thats a small chuck then. Not exactly sure what a chuck is - must go over posts in future :)
posted by Mossy at 8:00 AM on April 11, 2003

Apple Records and Apple Computer did indeed have an agreement that the latter would not sell music or musical equipment. The suit from Apple Records was a direct result of the Apple IIgs computer, which had an Ensoniq sound chip in it (same as in the Mirage sampler and ESQ-1 synth). Apple Records came to Apple Computer and offered to sell them further rights for a few million dollars. Apple Computer's lawyers thought it would be easier to invalidate Apple Records' trademark and proceeded to attempt to do so. Apple Records countersued for about 100 times the amount of their settlement offer. The case was in a London court and Apple Records was winning (if they had, Apple Computer would have been unable to use the word "Apple" in most of Europe) when Apple Computer finally settled. With legal expenses, it ended up costing Apple Computer more than ten times Apple Records' initial offer.

The Mac system sound "Sosumi" came after the lawsuit had been settled.

The good news is, the settlement allows Apple to sell music and music-related products, which is why you haven't heard a peep from Apple Records about the iPod or iTunes, the acquisition of Germany's Emagic, the inclusion of Advanced Audio Coding in QuickTime 6, and so on... it shouldn't be any more of a problem if Apple offers a music service or, indeed, acquires Universal.

As for Microsoft owning a large chunk of Apple, the stock purchase was a vote of confidence in Jobs, not necessary life support. At the time, I believe Apple had at least a billion in cash and other short-term assets. It was originally non-voting stock anyway, and when it gained voting privileges, Microsoft sold it (at a nice profit, I might add).
posted by kindall at 8:04 AM on April 11, 2003

Well, Steve Jobs is a low thief -- he scammed partner Steve Wozniak out of some early royalties -- so he should fit in quite nicely in the music biz. But let's hope he does better than the Woz.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:48 AM on April 11, 2003

I don't see this as a Steve Jobs type company...

the music biz is about selling stuff to the masses, and quality is judged by popular appeal. All of Steve Jobs' other big ventures (Apple, NeXT and Pixar) produce things that Jobs himself has a big hand in designing and are very quality-conscious. Pixar doesn't do cheap saturday morning cartoons based on popular action figure(TM), Apple doesn't sell beige boxes and I can't picture Steve Jobs taking too much of an interest in signing up the latest Britney.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:24 AM on April 11, 2003

Apple's policy is heavily medai orientated.

I swear to god that I had a moment there where I wondered if there was some new form of tentacle sex cartoons I didn't know about and what Apple would be doing involved with that...
posted by NortonDC at 9:56 AM on April 11, 2003

This is entirely about leverage for upcoming DRM standards. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes manouvering in the uneasy alliances that have formed specifically because companies aren't Microsoft.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:42 AM on April 11, 2003

Space Coyote:

I wouldn't say that Steve Jobs has that much of an influence at Pixar. One of the reasons for Pixar's success (overlooking for the moment their incredibly talented team of designers and story writers) has been attributed to the fact that Steve Jobs stayed AWAY from most operations there until the idea of pitching to Disney came up back in 1993-1994.

One of the greatest advantages they had, according to Lasseter and others there, is that for many years Steve overlooked the company because he was so focused on screwing up NeXT at the time. I still believe that Apple and Steve Jobs have the most dysfunctional relationship in corporate America: the company needs Steve to keep it alive, but it also needs Steve to lay off at times so that it doesn't keep getting bogged down in Jobs' reality-distortion field.
posted by tgrundke at 11:07 AM on April 11, 2003

The best line on the possible Apple-Universal deal I've seen so far:

Jobs is famous for this. He thinks he's got it figured out. And you know what? I say, give him a shot. Anything's better than the ridiculous Town Elders From Footloose who are running the show now.

From Slashdot.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:22 PM on April 11, 2003

noises wrote: p.s thanks stevengarrity for registering for us all... what's our annual income, i wonder??

We're a 100-year old woman from area code 90120.

posted by stevengarrity at 12:57 PM on April 11, 2003

I've worked for huge multi-nationals on both sides of the content/technology fence and I can tell you the cultures are vastly different. So far technology and content companies have not done a good job at hooking up. honest.

And is it just me or does $6 billion sound really, really low?
posted by victors at 7:18 PM on April 11, 2003

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