Eminem, Apple Settle Lawsuit

Over a year in negotiations, Eminemis music label Eight Mile Style has agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement with Apple Computer in a lawsuit over the use of one of his songs in an iPod commercial that appeared on MTV last year, lawyers for the rapper confirmed Monday.

"The parties were able to reach an amicable resolution," Howard Hertz, a Bloomfield Hills lawyer for Eight Mile Style and Eminem, told the Detroit Free Press.

The complaint alleged Apple and its ad agency approached Eminem in "early 2003" wanting his approval to use his number one hit, iLose Yourselfi, in a TV spot featuring a 10-year-old boy singing the song while listening to a iPod portable music player. The suit claimed the commercial began airing in July 2003 on MTV, running for at least three months, and also appeared on Appleis Web site. The commercial has since been removed from www.apple.com.

Initial discussions focused on the use of the song and compensation for Eminem, according to court documents. "He had never endorsed a product," Mr. Hertz said. "They felt that using iLose Yourselfi was in effect an endorsement of the product and it would be much more valuable than what they were talking about paying."

When talks broke down, a representative of Chiat/Day proposed the use of another Eminem song, "The Real Slim Shady," in the advertisement, according to the complaint. Eminem agreed to review the newly-proposed commercial and if the commercial was ultimately approved, Apple would pay Eminem US$300,000 to use the song.

Before the spot was even produced, Apple CEO Steve Jobs phoned Eminemis publisher, Joel Martin, stating that "Apple was too far into its original (ad) campaign to make any changes," the complaint stated. Jobs requested Eminem "rethink" his position and permit Apple to use iLose Yourselfi in the TV spot, "or Apple would iscrapi the entire ad campaign." Eminem and his publisher ended all discussions on an agreement after the Jobs call, Mr. Hertz said.

The complaint alleged that "at no time did Apple, Chiat/Day or MTV receive authorization or permission to record, reproduce, perform, transmit, copy, use or otherwise exploit the Composition for any purpose."

The complaint stated Eminem was looking to be paid "possibly in excess of (US)$10 Million."