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Beats sues ‘co-founder’ for calling himself co-founder

By | Published on Tuesday 30 September 2014


When I write my opera about the history of the Beats company – which includes a great scene just after the interval with Dr Dre swimming in a sea of hundred dollar bills – the Steve Lamar side-story may just be the most interesting bit.

Lamar, you may remember, claims that the concept of using celebrity endorsement to sell shitty headphones at a massive mark-up was his grand idea, and that he was originally in business with Universal exec Jimmy Iovine and his mate Dre to make that dream a reality. Though before we ever saw kids the world over donning stupid clunky cans because of Dre’s endorsement, the business partnership had crumbled.

Through various lawsuits Lamar was cut into some of the profits from Beats headphones, though exactly which profits is now the subject of new litigation. Meanwhile, the self-declared founder of Beats is busy setting up a new headphones business called Roam. And the businessman is trading very heavily on his early association with the Beats business.

In doing this, he has pissed off Beats Electronics and its new parent company Apple, who, according to The Hollywood Reporter, have now filed their own legal proceedings accusing Lamar of making false and misleading claims in order to boost his new business venture.

Says the legal filing, “defendants’ claims are false and misleading because Lamar is not a ‘co-founder’ of Beats Electronics, LLC. He does not have – nor has he ever had – any ownership interest in the company. Moreover, Jibe Audio [once run by Lamar] was not responsible for the ‘concept, design, manufacturing and distribution’ of Beats headphones”.

Big bad media types have been tricked into calling Lamar a Beats founder, says the lawsuit, and he has then been tweeting these reports. Meanwhile Roam’s website and social media makes a big deal about its owner co-founding Beats. And, despite the Beats company’s subsequent protestations, the Roam company has “taken no steps to inform the public that these statements were incorrect”.

So there you go. Lamar, not a co-founder of Beats. Roam, no association with Beats or any of its technologies. Roam in no way linked to Dre. Sounds good, where can I buy a pair of these headphones about which you speak?

By the way, at this point my opera will throw to a stage full of beautiful people doing Ellen’s rubbish Beats Music dance.