For any members of the Crikey Army who’ve availed themselves of the wonders
of the iTunes Music Store, you will be surprised to learn that those tracks
you’ve been downloading aren’t actually music.

Justice Anthony Mann of London’s High Court has accepted the cheeky
argument put forward by Apple Computer’s lawyers that all those sound files
available through its mega successful on-line business amount to nothing more
than data.

As explained in a solid background piece on the BBC news website, Justice Mann ruled
against the Beatle’s Apple Corp record label, which had gone to court alleging
that the US computer giant broke a 1991 agreement aimed at ensuring there would
not be two Apples in the music industry.

Apple Computers claimed that iTunes was simply a data transmission
business, which would come as a surprise to anyone who’s browsed its extensive

Is it just a coincidence that all those data files – available for download
at a price – happen to have titles bearing the names of groups prominent on the
pop charts, such as Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Pussycat Dolls?
And is it also a coincidence that when you open those data files on your
computer or iPod, all the millions of 0s and 1s tumble out in perfectly tuneful
order, sounding just like the aforementioned bands?

It will come as no surprise to anyone that the Apple record label intends
to appeal in a case which has so far earned the lawyers close to $8 million in