updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue July 31, 2007
Apple sued by Eminem label
Apple is the target of a lawsuit connected to the music of pop rapper Eminem, according to new reports. Filed in the US District Court in Detroit, Eminem's home city, the complaint by Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated -- Eminem's publisher and copyright manager, respectively -- alleges that Apple broke copyright by selling Eminem downloads neither company authorized. Apple is instead said to be dealing exclusively with the record label Universal, which is also accused of making unauthorized deals, though it is unknown whether the latter will also be sued in the future.
California entertainment lawyer Owen Sloane notes that the Apple suit is emblematic of a major issue in the music industry, since while many labels have the rights to sell CDs of an artist's work, this may not automatically extend to downloads. "You're going to see more of these suits," says Sloane.
At stake is the publisher's share of each track sold. Apple normally charges 99 cents per song, but approximately 70 cents of this goes to the label, which in turn pays an average of 9 cents to the publisher. The label must then pay the artist, who either receives an equal share under a license agreement, or a much smaller amount under sales royalties.