A new lawsuit marks the third time the company that holds rights to Beatles music has taken Steve Jobs' company to court over its name.
Apple Computer Inc. is on the defensive in Europe for the second time
in as many weeks as the company prepares to battle The Beatles' record
label in the United Kingdom's
highest court for its right to distribute music online.
Apple will go
before a judge in London this week to determine whether iTunes online
music violates an agreement the company made with Apple Corps, which
claims the service infringes on a15-year-old agreement. It is the third
time the company that holds rights to Beatles music has taken Steve
Jobs' company to court over its name.
The suit seeks an injunction on Apple's music sales and compensation
for past sales. Though some media have reported both talks of a
settlement are already in the works, neither company has released a
statement on the topic. Representatives from the Apple companies could
not be reached Monday.
The British company first sued the computer maker over the Apple name
15 years ago and settled for $80,000 and an agreement the computer
company would avoid the music business. Eight years later, the company
sued again when Macs became tools for recording and mixing music files.
Again, the California company settled with the U.K. company - this time
paying more than $25 million and agreeing not to distribute compact
discs or other music recordings.
Now, the question is: Does that agreement apply to online music file
The battle is the second front that opened in Apple's European
operations in two weeks. Last week, the lower house of French
parliament passed a bill that would
require all music files to be interoperable. Apple is fighting that
file sharing and copyright protection bill as it makes
its way to the French Senate and threatening to pull out of France if
the bill becomes law.
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