A U.S. District Court sided with The Beatles last week, handing down a $77 million default judgment against a melange of counterfeiters selling unlicensed Beatles merchandise online.
Judge Beth Bloom awarded the company that manages The Beatles' business affairs (Apple Corps.) $1 million for each of the 77 defendants in the case.
Judge Bloom also barred the defendants from selling infringing products in the future. She justified the enormous award, writing that it should be "sufficient to deter Defendants and others from continuing to counterfeit or otherwise infringe Plaintiffs' trademarks, compensate Plaintiffs, and punish Defendants."
By law, the judge had the right to award the band's estate as much as $2 million from each defendant.
Included in the suit was merchandise being sold online that used either the phrases "Beatles" or "Yellow Submarine."
Apple Corps. is not expected to collect much of the money, if any at all. None of the defendants appeared in court, and most of them were identified only by online IDs.
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