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Eminem's Music Publisher Sues Facebook

Complaint claims social media site lifted rapper's music for online ad

May 21, 2013 1:30 PM ET
Eminem
Eminem
Lester Cohen/Getty Images

Eminem's music publisher has filed a lawsuit against Facebook and its ad agency, claiming the social media site lifted the rapper's music for an online ad. Eight Mile Style filed a complaint yesterday in Detroit federal court alleging that Facebook copied music from Eminem's 2000 track "Under the Influence" for an online ad that aired in early April.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Eight Mile Style has also gone after the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, claiming the company used Eminem's music "in an effort to curry favor with Facebook by catering to [Facebook founder Mark] Zuckerberg’s personal likes and interests, and/or to invoke the same irreverent theme."

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Eight Mile Style previously complained directly to Wieden + Kennedy last month, but the agency's attorney, Guy Cohen, responded that the publisher did not have a right to claim copyright. Cohen said "Under the Influence" was itself a copy of Michael Jackson's 1991 track "Give in to Me." Cohen also said that Dr. Dre, who produced the song, "has a long, well-documented history of copyright infringement." In actuality, "Under the Influence" was co-written by Eminem's D12 crew and produced by Detroit duo the Bass Brothers.

Strangely enough, Wieden + Kennedy has successfully worked with Eight Mile Style before: the agency was behind the Eminem's notable 2011 Super Bowl ad with Chrysler, which featured an authorized version of his track "Lose Yourself." Eight Mile Style has stood up against big companies in the past, as well. The publisher settled out of court with Apple in 2005 after the tech company used "Lose Yourself" in an iPod commercial without permission, and settled with Audi in 2011 over a song the automaker used in an ad that sounded similar to "Lose Yourself."

Eminem has been readying a followup to 2010's Recovery for an expected release after Memorial Day.

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