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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Eminem sues Apple over downloads
Eminem
More than 70 Eminem songs are available for download on iTunes
Rap star Eminem is suing computer firm Apple for allegedly selling his music in its iTunes store without permission.

A lawsuit claiming infringement of copyright has been filed on behalf of the singer by his music publishing company Eight Mile Style.

Apple pays Eminem's record label for each download - but Eight Mile Style argues it has not approved the deal.

"This is a significant issue in the music industry," said Norman Ankers, a lawyer for the company.

"This occurs with many artists and many record labels."

A spokesperson for Apple had no comment on the legal case, which was filed in the US District Court in Detroit.

Damages

Eight Mile Style said between 70 and 80 songs were affected by the dispute, including tracks from the Grammy award-winning The Eminem Show.

The company holds the copyright, or partial copyright, in all of the tracks.

Eminem
Eminem's real name is Marshall Mathers III
It is seeking more than $75,000 (36,900) for copyright infringement, unfair competition and a violation of the Michigan consumer protection act.

It also asks for damages of up to $150,000 (73,800) per infringement - or each time a song is downloaded.

Apple charges $0.99 (0.49) for most song downloads in the US. Recording companies get about $0.70 (0.34) and pass on $0.09 (0.04) of that fee to publishers.

But many publishers would prefer to receive their share of the money directly from retailers.

"Generally, artists want their music sold," said Joel Martin, a spokesperson for Eight Mile Style. "We want it downloaded. We request that any provider that's offering downloads license it through the publisher."

"Apple is not accounting to us. They are accounting to Universal (Music)," he said.

Martin added that Apple had repeatedly asked Eight Mile Style for permission to use its songs, but the requests had been turned down.

Eminem has locked horns with Apple before. In 2004 he sued the company for copyright infringement, alleging that it had used his song Lose Yourself in a TV commercial without permission.

The case was settled out of court.




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