Beatles vs. the Web: EMI sues music pirates, unveils Fab Four on USB drive

And so it goes on: the interminable wait for a deal that would make the Beatles music available on the Web. Instead, Apple Corps. Ltd., which manages the Beatles' legacy, and EMI, the band's record label, have announced the release of a limited-edition USB flash drive preloaded with Beatles songs for $280, just in time for the holidays.

Call it Beatles on a stick.

Separately, EMI has filed a lawsuit against BlueBeat.com, a heretofore obscure website, claiming it has been illegally selling songs by the Fab Four. The label has accused BlueBeat of "shocking," "willful," and "overtly defiant" conduct, and accuses it of participating in one of the largest piracy operations on the internet. BlueBeat has denied the charge by saying it is protected by its "psycho-acoustic simulation" -- whatever that is.