A former drummer from the 1980s punk band, The Ramones, sued Apple Inc, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, RealNetworks Inc and others for copyright infringement, claiming the companies lacked permission to sell downloads of six songs he authored.
In the suit filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan on Friday, Richard Reinhardt alleges his music publisher never had the right to authorize distribution or duplication of six songs he wrote between 1983 and 1987.
The suit, which also names the estate of the band's one- time guitarist, Johnny Ramone, Ramones Productions Inc and their music publisher as defendants, alleges the music publisher improperly authorized third parties, such as Apple's iTunes service, Wal-Mart.com's music download service and RealNetwork's Real Store and Rhapsody services to use the songs.
Reinhardt claims no music publishing agreement was ever made with his music publisher and that the songs -- Smash You, Somebody Put Something in My Drink', 'Human Kind', 'I'm Not Jesus, I Know Better Now and (You) Can't Say Anything Nice -- are solely owned by Reinhardt, according to the lawsuit.
Reinhardt is seeking at least $900,000 in damages, profits the defendants made from the songs and a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from using the songs in any manner whatsoever, according to the lawsuit.
A spokesman for Wal-Mart had no immediate comment on the lawsuit. A spokesman from Apple did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
A spokeswoman from RealNetworks said the company had not yet seen the lawsuit and does not usually comment on litigation.