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Beatles' label sues Apple – again

Three strikes and out?

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It had to happen. The Beatles - or rather their record label - are once again suing Apple Computer, in the London High Court.

As we've reported before, at the launch of the online iTunes Music Store, back in the early 1980s, Apple Corp. sued Apple Comp. for trading on its name. The case was settled out of court, with Apple Comp. agreeing to pay Apple Corp. a large sum of money and promising not to offer music products.

Toward the end of the decade, Apple Corp. sued again, claiming that the Mac's ability to play and manipulate music was a violation of the previous agreement. Once again, Apple Comp. paid up and agreed not to enter the music market. Presumably it won the right to make play music on the Mac, since the platform has been able to do so ever since.

Flip forward to 2003, and what has Apple Comp. done? Entered the music market, in a pretty big way. At the launch of the iTunes Music Store, we wondered whether Apple's notoriously busy legal department had checked over the older agreement, or had even come to a mutually beneficial deal with the Beatles' label.

According to a report on Fox News, it looks like they haven't - having spent too much time focusing on threatening fan-run websites.

Apple Comp. also offers the iPod, a music player, and that seems to have prompted Apple Corp.'s ire too. Essentially, Apple Corp. claims Apple Comp. has violated both past agreements. ®

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