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The relationship between the Apple music company and the Apple computer company may not have soured despite about two decades of legal battles between the two companies. In fact, the relationship may become closer if The Beatles agree to let iTunes offer their music for downloading.
Apple Computer and Apple Corps, which have fought over the use of their Apple mark for music-related products and services, may forge an agreement to offer Beatles music over iTunes, according to a report in Fortune. Apple Corps was formed by The Beatles and is now owned by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison.
The news about a possible deal comes as the music company releases Love, a new collection of experimental mixes from original Beatles master tapes. The release marks collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. Apple Corps also recently launched new Beatles Web site features to mark the remix release.
It also comes as Microsoft tries to take a bite out of Apple's music market share with its own Zune music player. So far, The Beatles haven't released their music in downloadable MP3 form.
Apple Corps couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. Apple Computer has declined to comment on the reports, calling them "rumors" at this point. A representative for EMI, which also purchased rights to Beatles' music, declined to comment when reached in London on Tuesday.
In their most recent court dispute, a judge ruled that the computer giant isn't infringing on the music company's mark by selling music through iTunes, which uses an Apple logo. The music company is set to appeal that decision in February.