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Apple, Eminem publisher likely heading to trial

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 23 Sep 2009 18:15 User comments (5)

Apple, Eminem publisher likely heading to trial Apple Inc. and Eight Mile Style LLC, Eminem's music publisher, are set to decide a 2007 lawsuit by a jury-less trial later this week in Detroit unless a late settlement is reached. Eight Mile claims that Apple did not have the appropriate permissions to sell 93 songs in a downloadable format through the iTunes music store. Also being sued is Aftermath Entertainment for approving the digital downloads.
"The case did not settle today and we are expecting to start trial first thing tomorrow morning," Howard Hertz, a lawyer for Eight Mile Style, said on Wednesday. The lawsuit alleges that Apple wrongfully gained $2.58 million from iTunes downloads, including $466,916 from sales of the track "Lose Yourself".

In a stunning demand, the lawsuit also seeks a cut of $16 million in iPod sales profits it alleges could be attributed to the 93 tracks. Eight Mile is also seeking $4.03 million from Aftermath Entertainment. Eight Mile agreed in 1998 and 2003 that "Eminem would create master sound recordings embodying compositions, and that Aftermath would own those masters," Apple's attorneys said in a court filing.

"The parties also agreed that Aftermath and its distributors and licensees would 'have the exclusive right' to exploit the masters embodying the Eminem compositions 'in any and all forms of media now known or hereinafter developed."

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5 user comments

123.9.2009 22:18

If there was in fact unlawful distribution of those 93 songs by iTunes, couldn't Eight Mile Style sue Apple for 93 songs * 150,000 dollars per song for $14.4 million? It seems like this would be the same case as that unfortunate lady who was caught for distributing those 24 songs, and has that judgment against her in the millions of dollars.

I don't see why Eight Mile Style wouldn't do that, unless there are double standards...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Sep 2009 @ 22:20

223.9.2009 23:41

Originally posted by logola:
If there was in fact unlawful distribution of those 93 songs by iTunes, couldn't Eight Mile Style sue Apple for 93 songs * 150,000 dollars per song for $14.4 million? It seems like this would be the same case as that unfortunate lady who was caught for distributing those 24 songs, and has that judgment against her in the millions of dollars.

I don't see why Eight Mile Style wouldn't do that, unless there are double standards...

In fairness, since there's no evidence Apple thought what they were doing was illegal the appropriate range would be $750 to $30,000. :-|

324.9.2009 6:24

Actualy, the lower fine rate (up to $30,000 PER TRACK) is assuming that you did not know that the media was being distributed (like if a hacker turned your PC into a server). Apple knew the tracks were being distributed, and should be fined $150,000 per track per download...that's only fair. ;-)

424.9.2009 13:05

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Actualy, the lower fine rate (up to $30,000 PER TRACK) is assuming that you did not know that the media was being distributed (like if a hacker turned your PC into a server). Apple knew the tracks were being distributed, and should be fined $150,000 per track per download...that's only fair. ;-)

Except more than $30,000 requires that you believe it to be illegal, not just that it is. And an album (or partial album I believe) counts as a single work.

528.9.2009 17:55

Let's be blunt here, Eminem signed contract with Aftermath stating that they would legally 'own' these master tracks. That gives Aftermath full distribution rights. Now, if Eminem has been recording albums under his own label, through some kind of partnership with Aftermath... He might have been wise to have an attorney check to see what privelages the recording company is given.

Let's cut to the chase: Aftermath made a LOT of money off this, and anyone can tell you that if you make a lot of money on someone else's work, you better be darn sure that you've got the full legal right to do so. And I'm certain that Aftermath had attorney's double check (And probably write) the contract that Eminem agreed to. Granted, the artist and his own releasing label may not have 'noticed' the rights they were giving away because Aftermath wasn't physically printing discs for retail... But that's their own fault.

Furthermore, trying to take APPLE to court over this is nothing more than a publicity stunt, and an attempt to scare a big company into giving up some free money. The claims for a percentage of sales on iPods is ridiculous. If you want to see how many iPods were sold "because of Eminem's music", you could see what ratio of iPod owners downloaded one of his 93 tracks within the first week of purchasing one. I'm sure the ratio would be pretty low. And that's not a strike against his music, I listen to a WIDE variety of music, and I'll admit that he's a talented and sometimes rather amusing artist. I'm not saying he doesn't have talent or deserve some respect as a musician, he absolutely does, just like any other artist out there.

Let's consider this... 'Just like any other artist out there'. So take those same consumers who downloaded his tracks within a week or two of buying their iPod.... They probably downloaded a good number of other artists too. Should all of those artists get a huge stake in the iPod? Oh, wait, if all of them got that kind of a cut, Appl would be throwing every penny they have at artists.

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