July 31, 2007 12:21 PM PDT

Report: Eminem sues Apple for copyright infringement

Rap singer Eminem has accused Apple of copyright infringement in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, according to a story in The Detroit News.

Eminem's music publishers have not given Apple permission to offer the artist's music for download, according to the report in Tuesday's paper, although Eminem's music is available through the Apple's iTunes Store.

Apple pays a portion of the revenue it collects from Eminem downloads to Universal Music Group, which distributes the music, but not to Eminem's publishers, the News reported. Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, the companies representing Eminem, demand that Apple stop offering downloads.

The newspaper suggested that the problem is caused by the confusion over who owns the rights to downloads. Apparently, Eminem is asserting that record companies do not hold these rights exclusively.

Eminem has tangled in court with Apple before. Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated sued Apple in 2004 over the rapper's song "Lose Yourself," which Apple used in a TV commercial. The case was settled out of court.

Owen Sloane of Berger Kahn, an entertainment lawyer who has represented such artists as Steve Winwood, Barry Manilow and Stevie Nicks, said that he expects more entertainers will go to court to demand a larger slice of the digital pie. Music publishers have also expressed dissatisfaction at the way music royalties are distributed.

"All the publishers are rankled that they have to go after the record labels to collect their fees," Sloan said. "Sometimes these fees may not be accounted for properly. The publishers would prefer to collect directly from the source instead of the labels."

Apple did not respond to an interview request.

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41 comments

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Good for him!!!
Just goes to show how the record labels strive to screw over the artists and the consumers even in the digital age.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Erm, you do realize that...
...Universal is the record label, and therefore they should be the party he is filing suit against? Suing Apple is like suing Borders. They are retailers, they are not labels.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
Uhm
Shouldn't he be sueing Universal instead? They're the ones with the
contract to both parties.
Posted by MaLvaDo39 (365 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yup, I agree
Universal are the ones that are holding onto his money, not Apple. All he has to do is go to Universal and say, "hey, gimme my share"

I'm sure Apple will not mind paying artists directly, but the artist and the record company must first agree on how much of the 79-odd cents they will get.

I doubt that Apple will be willing to even entertain adding some change on top of the 99 cents to pay off to the artists.
Posted by Flytrap (82 comments )
Link Flag
That's Like Suing WalMart
iTMS stands for iTunes Music Store. Honestly, I am curious why Eminem is suing
Apple. There must be more to this story. Suing Apple accomplishes nothing, zero,
nada (unless). Suing Universal gives the artists the power, and control they rightfully
deserve.

We are all tired of greedy record companies. I bet Eminem is suing Apple to get direct
access to records that will account for the tracks sold. I think this is what the RIAA,
and MPAA have feared all along.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
on the other hand ...
If he sued Universal they'd likely drop him like a hot potato for
being a talentless sniveling idiot. Now he has no job and no way
to pay for the next 6 months of crack.

He can't come up with another cheesy album, he's already used
up all the material he could con his "friends" out of. Besides,
making a new album would be too much like "work", but
lawsuits are easy money.

Sue Apple and no harm can come to you. What's Apple going to
do, fire him?

LOL!
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Link Flag
Closed contract
Em may not be allowed to sue Uni directly. He might even be forced into arbitration. So - forcing Apple to negotiate with him might force Uni into a more awkward position. Too early to judge Em. Honestly, the big labels are hard to deal with - I have personal experience.
Posted by Chevaliermusic (72 comments )
Link Flag
ROFLMAO!
I guess when you have no talent whatsoever, no brains and you've
used all your record proceeds on a 3 year drug binge, the best way
to get your name back in the headlines is to sue someone big.
Someone who can't fire your sorry butt for being a pain.

Someone like Apple.

How pathetic - at least I got a good laugh out of this though!
Posted by Dalkorian (3000 comments )
Reply Link Flag
nice one...
I suppose you'd rather he sue all those individuals who bought his tracks, since they bought from an illegal source...
oh wait, that's the RIAA's move.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Hey, go easy on the crack-smoking white trash...
... the little worm has to refill his stash o' cash for more crack!
Apple should simply dump his ghetto-scum wannabe garbage.
White trash and rap, my butt.
Posted by g_m (18 comments )
Link Flag
...and what have you done
in your crappy lifetime? Sitting on your fat ass in front of a computer, rippin on a recording artist.
I bet you got a lot of brains and talent, but it just hasn't spawned out of your ass yet, huh?
Posted by Chingchong_Wingwong (12 comments )
Link Flag
You can't sue the retailer
If the distributor provides music to a retailer and tells them they can sell it, it's not the retailer's problem if the publisher isn't getting paid. Retailers pay distributors, the distributors then dish out money to the appropriate parties. A retailer doesn't have a contract with the publishers and doesn't know what the terms of the contract between the publisher and the distributor are, nor should they have to know. Contracts for royalties have nothing to do with retailers.
Posted by umcrouc0 (53 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I hate to say it,
you obviously have no concept of US law.
You're just wrong.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Eminem following Metallica's lead
Has Eminem forgot where he came from? Isn't this the same guy that rapped about his eviction notices and how one Christmas he had no money to even buy one present for his daughter? This is a man who loved music more than his life and now he's trying to take that same music away from his own fans? Doesn't he realize that Apple hardly makes any revenue from those 99 cent songs?! Most of the money goes back to the record labels! At least 70%. After distribution fees and operating expenses they make next to nothing. I've been a fan of Eminem way before he ever released a CD with Dr. Dre, but at this point I'm beginning to lose respect for someone who should be involved in finding a way for this technology to work for him and his labels rather than attacking his fans as well as companies that try to make his music content easily available. After reading this and the other related articles about Eminem I will NEVER buy another one of his CD's or purchase another concert ticket to his shows. I'm disgusted with him and his arrogance. He should just sit in his Detroit mansion and rap to himself, that way no one will have to hear his music again and we'll all be better off. Now that's an idea.
Posted by starmarie10 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hehehe, yes poor apple
hardly making profit :D good one! Also poor my grocery store, hardly makes profit on carrots, because 70% of money goes to farmers, and 10% gets rotten
Posted by cocos2000 (37 comments )
Link Flag
So, you're a bigger fan of Apple than of Eminem?
Metallica sued fans for sharing their music and paying nothing to the band. Eminem is suing Apple for selling his music in places and ways that he doesn't want it to be sold.

And as it is mentioned in every story relating to DRM, you can still buy his CDs.

And now for a point-for-point deconstruction...

[i]Apple hardly makes any revenue from those 99 cent songs?! Most of the money goes back to the record labels! At least 70%. [/i]

You get these figures from where? Apple make enough money to do very nicely out of iTMS tyvm and that's before we go into the added revenue from purchases of the required iPods. What do you think Apple run iTunes for? The kindness of their heart? And how much money does Eminem take in relation to Apple?

[i]After distribution fees and operating expenses they make next to nothing.[/i]

And what exactly *are* the distribution fees for sending an audio file over the internet?

[i]I've been a fan of Eminem way before he ever released a CD with Dr. Dre,[/i]

And an ever bigger Apple fan since way before they released a Mac with an x86 processor

[i]but at this point I'm beginning to lose respect for someone who should be involved in finding a way for this technology to work for him[/i]

There are ways other than iTunes to do this. He could, for example, release tracks directly to his fans from his website as free, unemcumbered downloads, support eMusic or other underground, unencumbered music stores that don't treat every single one of their customers like pirates.

[i] rather than attacking his fans as well as companies that try to make his music content easily available. [/i]

How is he attacking his fans? iTunes isn't the only music store on the net you know? And you can STILL buy CDs.

[i]After reading this and the other related articles about Eminem I will NEVER buy another one of his CD's or purchase another concert ticket to his shows. [/i]

So because he's sued Apple you've got the lip on. Would you be so irked if he'd sued Napster, HMV Digital, 7digital, Virgin Digital or any other Windows Media based DRM store? Would you get the lip on if he'd sued Sony Connect? Serious question.

[i]He should just sit in his Detroit mansion and rap to himself, that way no one will have to hear his music again and we'll all be better off. Now that's an idea.[/i]

Oh yeah, you sound like a life-long fan ...of Apple.
Posted by GeoNorth (51 comments )
Link Flag
hint
if you really were a em fan then u wouldnt put down his musoc for someone eles wrongdoing
Posted by ki88les (2 comments )
Link Flag
apparently .99 cents per song is too cheap
for these "artists"
Posted by dondarko (261 comments )
Reply Link Flag
reading for comprehension?
umm... that was in this story? I didn't read that he was suing for a higher price...

I read that he never gave permission to Apple, he isn't getting his share of the money Apple pays the distributor, and that the legal situation is such that Apple needs his permission as well as the distributor's. I can't comment on the correctness of this assertion since I don't have the contracts in front of me.

I can comment on the idea that you're comment is most certainly off base and idiotic and all you have to contribute to this debate is you sophmoric dislike of a style of music.
I can offer a solution for your problem too... don't buy the music - duh!
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
He can't possibly win
Seeing as Eminem featured in an iPod + iTunes advert, and has therefore actively promoted the sale of his songs on iTunes, he has absolutely no case.

The guy is quickly becoming washed up and over. He has two song styles, wacky and melancholy and the world is bored of hearing both. He is almost the age that he criticised Moby for being and still releasing music... We wouldn't want him to be a hypocrite now would we?? Oh wait, he already has been, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Posted by plkrtn (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Words raise their ugly head and stump the MacFreak
His music was featured in an iPod+iTunes advert without his permission. If you'd bothered to read the article you'd have noticed that he sued Apple in 2004 through that debacle, forcing Apple to settle out of court.

In other words, [b]Apple[/b] were using Eminem to promote their products.
Posted by GeoNorth (51 comments )
Link Flag
thank you Bozo the lawyer.
Let's see... a contract to do a commercial automatically includes implicit permission to sell a product?
I suppose you feel that since Prince and the Rolling Stones have played the Superbowl halftime show, the the NFL has permission to sell their tracks as digital downloads as well?

Grab a clue and take you music critique somewhere else, bub.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Read the story again
This isn't about Mathers not wanting his music available but that he doesn't trust the record companies -- you know, the people that the rest of us don't like either? He wants Apple to pay the royalties to the artists/publishers and not just to the old CD distribution channel.
Posted by michaelbabcock (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
right but
he's suing apple which is jesus made flesh to walk amoung us so
he must be bad. right? ;)
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
Honestly - I don't think this is about Apple
I think it's about distrust towards labels. I don't think many (any?) would say they believe that Uni or Sony are trustworthy these days. I think Em's lawyer is making a creative attempt to get money out of the labels hands or atleast force Uni to better account for online sales.

I've heard many complaints from artists who don't receive as much from online sales as they do from CD's.

Just a guess. What do u guys think?
Posted by Chevaliermusic (72 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Exactly !
I tried to make that point previously. However, we seem to be
flooded with short-sighted, narrow minded responses, and
comments. I did not think that could be possible on this
subject, at least not to the percentage of them.

Eminem isn't suing Apple because he does not want his music
sold. It is far more probable the suit is to gain access to the
accounting information, concerning his sales. Let's face it, if
Eminem has a contract with Universal, Universal has the rights to
distribute his music to retailers of their choice. Until now, there
has not been an independent system upon which artists, and
writers, can turn to for accounting. With iTMS there is.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Recoed companies, Music publishers
From this short story...the reporter doesn't tell you what "DEAL" the three parties; APPLE, UNIVERSAL...and whoever holds the EMNEM PUBLISHING already have among themseleves.

It looks to me...that the PUBLISHING CO. is tired of "chasing" the RECORD CO. (UNIVERSAL) for it's share of the royalities.

In these contracts....there is a section that REQUIRES the accounting of ALL ROYALTIES PAID.

In other words..The Publisher of EMNEM songs can already request in most cases..up to TWICE a year a forensic accounting of monies collected from APPLE, paid to UNIVERSAL to ASCERTAIN if they're getting their agreeded upon royality rate.

What I'm getting from this story is that; the PUBLISHER wants to change the prior agreement with UNIVERSAL and now, wants to get a DIRECT accounting from APPLE...instead of UNIVERSAL.

I personally think that's a very SMART MOVE on EMNEM'S behalf. Also...it's a very easy thing to do...I wonder why this sort oF accounting WASN'T implemented when the idea first came up to sell songs to APPLE for DOWNLOAD. (A MUCH different aninal from those who asked about suing a Mortar and Brick business such as, WALMART)

The earlier ENMEN lawsuit against APPLE...has NOTHING to do with what's going on now.
Posted by daxwax (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Once again
Well folks it was fun while it lasted. Time to start stealing music
again. This is a lawyers wet dream. Come on, this has got to be the
biggest shame, scam since the Bush-Chaney Iraq-a-palooza Tour.
Posted by sapporobaby (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ummm
Honestly Eminem's Music is not worth even downloading....in Limewire let alone buying it thru Itunes
Posted by vmlenigma (135 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's only RAP crap anyway
Watch the greedy trying to force music buyers into paying too much money for music. I think they are preparing for the day all illegal music downloading is stopped. Then they can extort an even higher price from teenagers hungry for music. The only way to stop them is to stop buying RIAA music.
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You mean the time...
...when they finally declare CDs obsolete? That will be a sad day indeed, it's already happening by allowing downloads to influence charts (and I bet downloads of ringtones as well as full-length tracks effect that as well) The encouragement of buying individual tunes instead of albums, music becoming throwaway (whilst bemoaning illegal downloads from services such as Limewire)

DRM is the enemy, keep buying CDs, vinyl and avoid the big DRM'd online music stores.
Posted by GeoNorth (51 comments )
Link Flag
 

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