Grammy-winning rapper Eminem’s publisher is reportedly looking for a big cash day from social networking giant Facebook by suing the company this week.
According to reports, Em’s publisher took action against Facebook yesterday (May 20).
On Monday, Eight Mile Style, LLC, the company that administers the rights to Eminem’s music filed a lawsuit against Facebook. The complaint filed in Michigan federal court not only accuses the popular social network of lifting one of Eminem’s songs for the April launch of a new application called “Facebook Home,” but tells the story of how Facebook’s advertising company attempted to use Eminem to attract the liking of Mark Zuckerberg, and how when threatened with copyright allegations, how the ad agency’s response was to attack hip hop producer (and sometime Eminem collaborator) Dr. Dre for being a flagrant thief who had stolen the song in question from Michael Jackson. (Billboard)
More specifically, the suit claims Facebook knowingly took one of Em’s tracks from his 2000 album The Marshall Mathers LP.
Lawyers for Eight Mile Style say that ad company Wieden+Kennedy deliberately lifted from Eminem track ‘Under The Influence’, from 2000 album ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’, because they knew Zuckerberg was a fan of the rapper’s work (something suggested by a teenage webpage created by the Facebook boss that re-emerged online last month). After fans of the rapper noticed the similarities between the music in the Facebook Home ad and ‘Under The Influence’, legal reps for Eight Mile Style quickly sent Wieden+Kennedy a cease and desist. Possibly as a result of that, when the ad was subsequently formally posted to YouTube, a new soundtrack had been added to it. The soundtrack switch, now says Eight Mile Style, implies acknowledgment on W+K’s part that the original ad infringed the publisher’s copyrights. (The CMU)
The publishing company is reportedly looking to snatch up no less than $150,000.
The plaintiff is seeking maximum statutory damages (up to $150,000 per infringement) for the defendants’ allegedly willful misappropriation of Eminem’s song. The publisher is represented by Richard Busch at King & Ballow. (Billboard)
No strangers to legal battles, Em’s Eight Mile Style has won a few cases dating back to the mid-2000’s.
This isn’t the first time Eight Mile Style has taken on a tech giant: Apple Inc. reached an out-of-court settlement with the publisher in 2005 after using Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in an iPod commercial without permission. Audi agreed to a settlement in 2011 after using a “Lose Yourself” sound-alike song in a European promotional clip. (Detroit Free Press)
Check out “Under the Influence”: