Eminem’s music publisher sues Apple over downloads

“Eminem’s music publisher filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Apple Computer Inc. [sic] on Monday, alleging the computer giant violated copyrights by allowing unauthorized downloads of the Detroit rapper’s songs onto iPods,” Paul Egan reports for The Detroit News.

“A ‘burning issue’ in the music industry today is whether the rights record labels hold to sell a recording artist’s CDs include the rights to authorize music downloads, or whether further permission is needed from the music publishers who hold the copyrights to the lyrics and sheet music.,” Egan reports.

Egan reports, “Typically, Apple collects 99 cents each time an iPod owner downloads a song, with Apple paying 70 cents of that amount to the recording label, a top California entertainment lawyer, Owen Sloane of Berger Kahn, said. The recording label, in turn, typically pays 9.1 cents to the music publisher, he said.”

Egan reports, “In their complaint filed Monday, Eminem’s music publisher and copyright manager, Eight Mile Style LLC and Martin Affiliated LLC, allege that although Apple pays a portion of the revenues it collects from Eminem downloads to recording giant Universal Music Group, Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated have never authorized Universal to allow the downloads. ‘Eight Mile and Martin have demanded that Apple cease and desist its reproduction and distribution and Apple has refused,’ the complaint alleges.”

Full article here.

Uh, shouldn’t Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated really be suing Universal Music Group, not Apple?


  1. I would assume Eminem has some sort of contract with Universal Music and that contract stipulates what the rights are regarding electronic music distribution. I agree with MDN’s take and Eminem should be going after Universal if rights were never granted for electronic distribution.

  2. MacDailyNews Take: Uh, shouldn’t Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated really be suing Universal Music Group, not Apple?

    Yea, isn’t Universal the one that gave permission to sell so shouldn’t Universal be the one to desist first and then tell Apple to stop?

  3. Shouldn’t Eminem be happy that anyone still wants to PAY for his music and not download it for free?

    I actually like his music, but he is a bit of an ass and should probably STFU and be happy to recieve the royalty checks in the mail.

  4. Wouldn’t you have sue every manufacturer of mp3 players incl. the iPod, Zune, iRiver and whatever players are out there?
    The whole music industry should file lawsuit against them…
    It’s indeed a shame that you also useand listen to songs on those players ‘ripped’ using your own purchased CD’s…
    It’s an armageddon for music to go.

  5. MacDailyNews Take: Uh, shouldn’t Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated really be suing Universal Music Group, not Apple?

    I thought the same thing. And then I remembered that when I was a practicing attorney (I’m now a “recovering” attorney) our motto was “Sue them all”. That may sound like over litigation to you, but honestly, it was safest to let the pre-trial discovery sort out who had contractual obligations to whom and who was responsible for what.

  6. @Falkirk

    I think you have hit the nail on the head – I’ll bet they are suing Apple AND universal (and anyone else in range worth suing with any available cash on hand).

    Yay American legal system!

    mdnw “end” as in: “we should end all the frivolous litigation going on”

  7. We must be missing something here, I don’t think that Apple allows downloads that are not carefully orchestrated with the proverbial labels.

    Speaking of labels, this article, assuming the facts and numbers are true, indicates yet again who the real money makers in the music industry are. According to the article:
    – Apple sends away almost 70% of every iTMS sale to the label
    – The label keeps about 87% of that 70%
    – The artist gets less than 13% of that 70%

    Now if the artist owns the label then that doesn’t seem too bad, otherwise we call that highway robbery where I come from. If Eminem’s publisher isn’t happy with their cut maybe they should sue the label.

    And all of this leads me to believe that their are two big technological reforms long overdue in the world at large:
    1. Computer OS distribution needs a radical change ASAP;
    2. The way music is produced, and bought and sold needs to be reconsidered.

    I wonder what Eminem’s feelings are?

  8. how dare Apple make more money for me by selling my songs legally online… duh umm I better sue them uuh duhh that’ll learn ’em duh umm… then what? um er duh dunno too hard to think that far ahead uh duh

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