September 24, 2009: Apple lawyers are going to court to defend the company from rapper Eminem’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple illegally sold 93 of Eminem’s songs on the iTunes Music Store. This is the second time that Apple is on the opposite side of the courtroom from the Detroit rapper. (The previous lawsuit concerned the improper use of Eminem’s hit single “Lose Yourself” in an iTunes commercial.)
Apple v. Eminem
The iTunes Music Store case dates back to July 2007, when Eight Mile Style was first sued by Apple. The publisher claimed that the digital rights to Eminem’s catalog were sold without proper approval.
Apple has signed a contract with Aftermath Entertainment, a label founded by Dr. Dre (who later joined Apple with the acquisition of Beats 2014). Apple considered the deal to include Eminem’s digital sales rights. However, Eight Mile Style’s lawyers said the unusual clause in Eminem’s contract required a special deal for digital sales. Such an agreement has never been reached.
Eight Mile Style asked for $ 2.58 million, which he claimed Apple earned by selling Eminem’s music. The publisher also demanded $ 150,000 in damages, adding up to $ 14 million.
Apple’s lawyers, meanwhile, found that Aftermath paid 70 cents per takeover and Eight Mile Style 9.1 cents (and that they both continued to cash their checks).
Apple agrees with Eminem
In the end, Apple and Eminem settled out of court, just like in the previous lawsuit over the “Lose Yourself” ad. The news, however, was significant because – just like Apple’s legal battle with The Beatles – it highlighted the new challenges Cupertino faced as a major player in the music industry.
Today, Apple and Eminem seem to be on good terms again. Em’s mentor, dr. Dre, he joined Apple through the Beats acquisition. Eminem also appeared on (formerly named) Beats 1 radio to promote his work.
What’s the most incredible celebrity lawsuit you remember Apple being involved with? (For me it still has to be Carl Sagan!) Leave your comments below.
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