The ease of putting 1,000 songs in your pocket is apparently coming at the expense of the artists who made those songs, at least according to hip-hop superstar Eminem. Eminem (whose real name is Marshall Mathers) has filed suit through his publishing company, Eight Mile Style, and another plaintiff Martin Affiliated, alleging that 93 songs are unlawfully available for digital download via iTunes.
The suit targets iTunes’ owner, Apple, Inc., as well Eminem’s record label, Aftermath Records, claiming that neither Eight Mile nor Martin have ever granted permission to use the songs and have not received any compensation for iTunes. Apple and Aftermath, of course, disagree. They claim that Eight Mile and Martin have been guven substantial royalties and that Aftermath, who owns the right to distribute the songs, may choose to distribute those songs by CD or iTunes.
Eminem’s plight is just the latest in challenges to iTunes. Artists have been challenging whether iTunes requires a license from the original publisher to sell digital downloads, regardless of any agreement with a record label Eight Mile Style LLC v. Apple Computer Inc., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit), No. 07-13164.