Rapper’s publisher sues Apple, MTV over commercial
By David Shepardson / The Detroit News
Metro Detroit’s hometown rapper Eminem claims Apple Computer Inc. wrongly used one of his songs in a TV ad touting Apple’s iTunes internet store.
As a result, the publisher of Eminem’s music is suing MTV, Apple Computer, Viacom and the advertising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claiming copyright infringement.
The advertisement featured a 10-year-old singing Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself.’ The suit claims the commercial aired many times on MTV beginning in July 2003 and ran for at least three months. It also appeared on Apple’s Web site.
‘Eminem has never nationally endorsed any commercial products and … even if he were interested in endorsing a product, any endorsement deal would require a significant amount of money, possibly in excess of $10 million,’ said the 15-page lawsuit filed Friday.
The suit claims that Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs personally called Joel Martin, the manager of Ferndale-based Eight Mile Style music publishing firm, asking Martin and Eminem to ‘rethink their position’ about using the song.
In response, the suit said Eminem ended discussions with Apple. The suit includes a May 7 e-mail to Martin from a Chiat/Day executive, Andrew Schafter, that read: ‘So to confirm, you guys are a definite ‘no’ for the campaign as it is (The young boy rapping ‘Lose Yourself.’) ‘
The song, written by Eminem and two others in October 2002, wasn’t copyrighted until Oct. 27, 2003, according to a registration certificate filed with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Spokeswomen for Viacom ‘ MTV’s parent ‘ and Apple Computer didn’t return calls from The Detroit News. A spokesman for Chiat/Day in Los Angeles declined to comment.
Eminem, 31, who was born Marshall Mathers, attended Lincoln High School in Warren and has sold more than 33 million records, according to industry estimates.
You can reach David Shepardson at (313) 222-2028 or email@example.com.