Eight Mile Style, Eminem’s music publishing company, is suing Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and its ad agency for using Eminem’s song without seeking permission.
The music publisher claims Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy used Eminem’s song “Under the influence” during YouTube and television ads without seeking consent.
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Facebook As Broadcast Online Copied Eminem’s Song
A federal law suit was filed by Eight Mile Style in Detroit on Monday alleging that a 30-second Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) ad broadcast online last month copied music from Eminem’s 2000 song “Under the influence”.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s advert “Airplane” was played at an event in April to unveil Facebook Home, its new mobile software, which is an interface for Android phones.
After the advert was first released online by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the company later changed the composition of the background music and re-released the video. Taking a cue from the alteration, the lawyers representing Eight Mile Style contend that the alteration was an admission that Facebook knew it had infringed on Eminem’s composition.
“Under the influence” was in fact co-written by D12 and produced by the Bass Brothers, the Detroit duo who handled much of the rapper’s work at the time.
The latest law suit highlights the string of suits filed by various music publishing companies against high-profile companies.
For instance, during 2005, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reached an out-of-court settlement with Eight Mile Style after using Eminem’s ‘Lose yourself’ in an iPod commercial without seeking permission.
Similarly Audi agreed in 2011 to a settlement after using ‘Lose yourself’ sound-alike song during a European promotional clip.
Interestingly, Wieden+ Kennedy was the firm behind Eminem’s famed Super Bowl spot with Chrysler in 2011, which featured an authorized version of ‘Lose Yourself’.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s legal counsel contended that artist’s song “Under the influence” was itself copied from Michael Jackson’s 1991 song “Given to me”. Facebook’s legal counsel claims this would exempt Facebook from any copyright infringement.
However Eight Mile Style responded to Facebook’s claim stating: “After Wieden+ Kennedy did so well with the Chrysler-Eminem campaign, they chose to say Dr. Dre stole this from Michael Jackson”
Eminem’s music publishing company Eight Mile Style in the law suit seeks maximum statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s allegedly willful misappropriation of Eminem’s song.