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Eminem Sues Apple(iTunes) for improperly using his music

Rapper Eminem is in the legal news once again with his record label Eight Mile Style alleging that Apple Inc. did not have a license to reproduce and sell 93 Eminem songs in which Apple has allegedly made $2.58 million from the iTunes downloads.

Eight Mile is arguing that Eminem’s contract with Aftermath (his old record label) did not authorize Apple to make his music available for download on iTunes.  Apple has argued that they have paid Eight Mile Style 9 cents per download via iTunes and have done nothing wrong.  If Eight Mile comes out victorious, Apple may be ordered to pay significant damages for illegally allowing  the music to be available for download.  A ruling in Eight Miles favor could also cause distributors such as iTunes to be much more careful in the future, i.e. put in safeguards to make sure that distribution companies actually have the right to reproduce music and make it available for download.  On the flip side, a ruling for Eight Mile could cause potentially unnecessary extra procedures in making music available for download since most musicians would like to profit from the services that iTunes offers.  iTunes has every intention of compensating the musicians who may not otherwise be able to make significant profits from music sales any other way. Downloading albums and songs has now become the most common way for fans to obtain music with actual hand held album sales declining every year.

UPDATE 10/2/09 – Eminem and Apple settle lawsuit with Apple paying out an undisclosed amount of money:

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