B&M takes on iTunes launch for Apple

Baker & McKenzie’s (B&M) London office advised Apple on the European launch of its iTunes digital music download service, announced last week.

B&M has had a stranglehold on much of Apple’s UK legal work, but recently lost out to Linklaters in Apple’s dispute with The Beatles’ record label, also named Apple.

B&M partners Michael Hart and Christina Demetriades advised on the launch, which comes a year after starting up in the US.

The iTunes system has received some criticism from the Association of Independent Music (Aim), which represents the UK’s independent record labels. Aim has been unable to negotiate a suitable agreement with Apple. The association’s new technology arm Musicindie has undertaken negotiations in-house, but failed to come to an agreement like it did with Napster, which launched its own legal service last month.

Wragge & Co advised Napster on its UK launch after saving its vital domain name www.napster.co.uk after a bizarre dispute with the Treasury Solicitor.

The launch of so many download services is the best thing to happen to internet lawyers starved of e-commerce work since the dotcom crash. Olswang has also got in on the act by advising Sony on its download service Sony Connect, which is expecting to be launched later in the year.