Eminem’s publisher sues Spotify (but Eminem didn’t know anything about it)

Eminem’s publisher Eight Mile Style has sued Spotify for the alleged copyright infringement of hundreds of the rapper’s songs, which have been streamed billions of times on the service.

The lawsuit alleges that the music streaming service lacks licenses for nearly 250 songs in total, including hits like Lose Yourself, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news yesterday (August 21).

Confusingly, Eminem reportedly knew nothing about the lawsuit until the news broke, according to his publicist Dennis Dennehy, who, speaking to The Verge said that they were “just as surprised as anyone else by this news”.

Eight Mile Style’s complaint states: “Spotify has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams.”

The publisher also claims that Spotify categorized songs including the hit single Lose Yourself, written for the film Eight Mile, under the “Copyright Control” label, used for songs where the rightsholder is not known.

The lawsuit also accuses Spotify of failing to comply with sections of the Music Modernization Act, which was passed in October 2018.

States the complaint: “First, by its terms, the MMA liability limitation section only applies to compositions for which the copyright owner was not known, and to previously unmatched works (compositions not previously matched with sound recordings), and not to ‘matched’ works for which the DMP [Digital Music Provider] knew who the copyright owner was and just committed copyright infringement.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the person representing Eight Mile Style is attorney Richard Busch, who not only represented Marvin Gaye’s family in the infamous Blurred Lines copyright case, in addition to handling a dispute against Universal Music Group a decade ago, involving a company that previously produced Eminem’s work.

The statutory damages sought by Eight Mile Style works out to $150,000 for each of the 243 songs, or $36.45 million in total.Music Business Worldwide

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