NEW YORK -- The Nike athletic company agreed Monday to stop using an original recording of the Beatles song 'Revolution' in its commercials, a lawyer for the group said.
'They (Nike) had an option to extend use of the recording for another year and have decided to waive that,' said Leonard Marks, the lawyer for the Beatles.
In July 1987 the Beatles filed a $15 million lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Manhattan against the Beaverton, Ore., company demanding the commercials be pulled off the air.
'The lawsuit remains in effect and we're hopeful that the parties will reach a complete settlement in the near future,' Marks said. 'The Beatles are very pleased that Nike is going to take the commercials off the air.'
The ads were the first time an actual Beatles recording was used in the promotion of a commercial product, he said.
'The Beatles brought this (lawsuit) for two reasons. One is they don't sing jingles or endorse commercial products,' Marks said. 'The other is a warning to advertisers that if they use Beatles recordings in connection with endordsements, they're going to be sued.'
The commercials, which show Michael Jordan, star of the NBA's Chicago Bulls and tennis star John McEnroe, are scheduled to be taken off the air March 22, he said.
Nike paid $250,000 to pop star Michael Jackson, who owns the rights to the Beatles' music and $250,000 to EMI-Capitol, which has rights to Beatles' recordings for permission to use the song 'Revolution.'
'The way they (Nike) used it (the song) in the conmmercial was an implied endorsement of the product by the Beatles, which in fact they did not endorse. Capitol had no right to license the Beatles' recording for commercial use,' Marks said.
Jackson has said he will not authorize the commercial use of Beatles songs.
Nike attorney Thomas Smart said the company would use the song in its commercials, including a new one to be introduced, through March 22, when all ads using 'Revolution' will stop.
'Nike has decided for business reasons unrelated to the Beatles' lawsuit to go in a different direction after expiration on March 22 of its one-year license and thus has not exercised its option to renew the license for another year,' he said.
The lawsuit was filed by the Beatles through the group's companies Apple Corps Ltd. and Apple Records Inc. and named Nike, the Oregon advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy and EMI-Capitol Records, which distributes the Beatles' music.
The Beatles recorded the song 'Revolution' in 1968.
It was released as a single in August of that year.