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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Strong sales for iTunes in Europe
Apple iTunes' Steve Jobs at launch
Apple launched its iTunes store for UK, French and German users
Apple's online music service iTunes has reported sales of 800,000 songs since it opened its European store last week.

An Apple spokesman said 450,000 of the tunes sold since the store opened had been bought by consumers in the UK.

The service offers music fans in the UK, France and Germany over 700,000 songs for 79p or 0.99 euros each.

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs claimed iTunes was already "Europe's top online music store" and had outsold rival OD2 by 16 times in the past week.

Exclusive tracks

ITunes has proved enormously popular in the US, with about 85 million songs downloaded since its launch in April 2003.

By distributing our first song... exclusively on iTunes, we were able to quickly and inexpensively make it available to millions of fans
Ken Goes, Pixies' manager

Among the top-selling tunes in the European store's first week were exclusive tracks from the Pixies, Anastacia, Alicia Keyes and Herbert Gronemeyer.

Ken Goes, manager of the Pixies, said the release by iTunes of their single Bam Thwok' had boosted sales in four countries.

"By distributing our first song in 13 years exclusively on iTunes, we were able to quickly and inexpensively make it available to millions of fans in the US and Europe," he said.

Legal action

The iTunes service means songs can be legally downloaded to a PC, copied to CD and played on a portable iPod. Rivals Napster and OD2 offer a similar deal to customers.

The news came on the same day as the music industry in the US began legal action citing copyright infringement against 482 computer users.

The legal action targets suspected online music file-swappers in St Louis, Washington, Denver and New Jersey, the Recording Industry Association of America said.

The group, which represents major recording companies in the US, brought the legal action against defendants known only by their internet protocol addresses.

The tactic means internet access providers can be ordered by the court to reveal the names of their customers.




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