Apple Lawsuit Express: Eminem vs. Apple Trial Begins

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The trial between rapper Eminem - or more specifically the publishing company Eight Mile Style, which owns the rights to Eminem's recordings - and Apple began Thursday, according to a Yahoo! report. The rapper's publishing arm sued Apple in July of 2007 accusing the company of copyright infringement by selling 93 of Eminem's songs on iTunes.

Apple has claimed a contract with another Aftermath Records gives them the rights to sell those songs, while Eight Mile Style said the licensing deal with Aftermath Records does not include digital distribution rights. In other words, Eight Mile Style is attempting to assert a difference between a record/CD deal and the rights to distribute music in other formats and models.

For its part, Glenn Pomerantz, an attorney representing Apple in the case, is arguing that the deal with Aftermath Records is an issue of "common sense," according to Yahoo!'s coverage. In his opening statement in the trial Thursday, he said, "Nowhere [in the contract between Aftermath Records and Eight Mile Style] does it say only compact discs. Nowhere does it say ... not digital downloads."

In the meanwhile, Apple has been paying Aftermath Records US$.70 per download - the same as most of Apple's other iTunes contracts - of which Eight Mile Style receives $.091. According to trial proceedings, Eight Mile Style has cashed its royalty checks, but is, effectively, suing for the rest of the income generated from the sale of its Eminem songs.

Mr. Pomerantz comments, "[Eight Mile Style] has been paid a lot of money. We don't begrudge them that, but they're not entitled to that money and Apple's profits." [Emphasis added by The Mac Observer.]

Richard Busch, the attorney representing Eight Mile Style said, "The publisher owns these compositions, not Aftermath. ... If Eight Mile had a direct licensing relationship with Apple, this kind of nonsense would not happen."

From the get-go, Apple has negotiated only with record labels and firms that act as record labels such as TuneCore, CD Baby, and a host of others that have sprung up to act as a bridge between bands and digital distribution outlets like iTunes, Amazon.com, Napster, and others.

Comments

geoduck

Two reactions
Wow this is still going on?
Wow, Eminem is still around?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Yes, Eminem is still around. He released perhaps his best album yet in the Spring, Relapse. You absolutely would not want your kids listening to it. The drug references aren’t just ubiquitous, they are even disturbing. But the CD is a guilty pleasure for a giant crowd of 30-somethings who you’d never imagine. There is only one song on the CD that’s bad, in fact unlistenable.

If you like this song, you’ll love the whole album: Old Time’s Sake

VaughnSC

The logic here is unfathomable. If your label holds the rights, and holds the remainder of the 70?, why go after Apple in regards to any rights and moneys related to a contract of which it is not a signatory?

Simply put, there is simply no agreement between Eight-Mile and Apple to litigate. Eminem and his lawtards are laughable.

geoduck

Essentially I believe I said something along the same lines when the suit first came up. It looks to me that Eight Mile is going after Apple because Apple has money.

I do wonder why Apple doesn’t try to make this go away by offering to deal directly with Eight Mile and Eminem, cut out Aftermath, and assist Eight Mile in a suit against Aftermath. Apple could claim that they are also an injured party in that they dealt in good faith with Aftermath who did not have the rights they said they did. Eminem and Eight Mile would be getting a bigger cut of sales that they want. Apple would get rid of this nuisance suit.

Zarko

Geoduck, if Apple were to deal directly with Eight Mile, then I’m quite sure Aftermath would sue Apple (and Enimem).  So, by dealing with the labels, apple reduces the number of groups apple has to contract with.  Vaughn is right in that the real issue is between Eminem and Aftermath, and if apple actually looses (highly unlikely, IMHO) Apple will probably sue Aftermath for indemnity.

thomasjames197

geoduck, referring to your first comment, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?

geoduck

Well, not listening to RAP for one thing.

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