Eminem's Publisher Sues Apple Over iTunes

Eminem and Apple are back in court again, this time over a dispute on whether or not the rapper's tracks are on iTunes with his permission.

While Universal distributes Eminem's albums, Eight Mile Style LLC and Martin Affiliated LLC own the publishing and copyrights to the songs. Both are claiming that they have never given Universal authorization to distribute his music online.

"Eight Mile and Martin have demanded that Apple cease and desist its reproduction and distribution and Apple has refused," the complaint reads according to The Detroit News.

This is not the first time that the two sides have ended up in court. Eminem last faced off with Apple in 2004 over the use of the song "Lose Yourself" in an Apple iPod ad. He had reportedly declined licensing it to the company, but Apple was said to have gone ahead without the rapper's blessing.

Experts say the suit has some legal basis: there is growing sentiment in the industry that music publishers, who actually own the copyrights to music and not the labels, should be the final say on whether an artist's work is permitted to be distributed online.

Entertainment lawyer Owen Slone told the Detroit News to expect more of these types of suits in the future as it becomes a bigger issue. He also said another factor playing into the dispute is the division of royalties between the label, publisher, and artist.

Niether Apple, Eight Mile Style or Martin Affiliated were commenting on the lawsuit.

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