Music publisher sues Apple over Eminem iTunes downloads

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Music publisher sues Apple over Eminem iTunes downloads

Ferndale (MI) – Eight Mile Style, which represents rapper Eminem. has filed a federal lawsuit against Apple, asking for billions of dollars in damages because it claims Apple put up songs for users to download without getting proper permission.

Though Eminem’s music is sold under Universal Music’s record label, his publisher Eight Mile Style owns the copyrights or has ownership interest in around 70 to 80 of his songs that are on iTunes.

Although Apple has received permission from Universal Music to offer downloads of many of its licensed artists, Eight Mile Style contends it never signed off on a deal with iTunes.  “This is a significant issue in the music industry.  This occurs with many artists and many record labels,” said Norman Ankers, an attorney for the publisher.

Eight Mile Style administrator Joel Martin said that Apple had repeatedly asked to get the license to sell Eminem’s music, but the publisher continuously denied these requests, reports the Associated Press.

“Generally, artists want their music sold.  We want it downloaded. We request that any provider that’s offering downloads license it through the publisher,” said Martin.

He claims that Apple is using its agreement with Universal to justify offering the songs.  “Apple is not accounting to us. They are accounting to Universal,” he said.  The AP reported that Apple had no comment on the lawsuit at this time.

Eight Mile Style is reportedly seeking around $75,000 for copyright infringement, unfair competition, and a violation of the Michigan consumer protection act.  The publishing company is based in Ferndale, Michigan.  In addition, it wants Apple to pay as much as $150,000 for each infringement, or each time a song was downloaded.