The corporation founded by The Beatles to manage their financial and legal affairs, Apple Corps, has been awarded $77 million in damages by US District Court Judge Beth Bloom over the sale of unlicensed merchandise using the band’s name and imagery.
The figure of $77 million was arrived at by identifying 77 individuals selling counterfeit Beatles merchandise and then imposing a million-dollar penalty on each of them. That said, the ruling appears to be largely symbolic, with most of the 77 infringers remaining unidentified save for their online usernames, and with none of them appearing in court, either for the judgment or during the proceedings themselves. Nonetheless, Judge Bloom has ordered the 77 to cease manufacturing and/or selling such merchandise. It is hoped, not least by Apple Corps itself, that the ruling might deter potential infringers, here, there and everywhere, in the future.
Apple Corps has made no public comment on the decision.