Eminem publisher sues Spotify for alleged copyright infringement

Eminem‘s longtime music publisher is going up against Spotify in court with a massive lawsuit.

Eight Mile Style (or Eight Mile) sued the streaming giant on Wednesday alleging copyright infringement.

According to legal documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Spotify does not have the “compulsory” licences to host approximately 250 songs on its platform, including some of Eminem’s biggest hits: Without MeStan and My Name Is, among others.

“Spotify does not have a license to display, reproduce, and/or distribute” Eminem’s music as a result of not “procuring an appropriate license as required,” according to the lawsuit.

Music streaming app Spotify is seen on a screen with some headphones lying on it.

Music streaming app Spotify is seen on a screen with some headphones lying on it.

Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Eight Mile further claims it has not been compensated based on the billions of streams the 46-year-old rapper’s music has garnered since being added to the streaming platform.

“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 document says.

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Eight Mile says the most “egregious example of Spotify’s willful infringement” is Eminem’s 2002 hit, Lose Yourself.

The song, from the 8 Mile soundtrack, is one of Eminem’s most popular and earned six awards, including two Grammys. To this day, Lose Yourself has been certified diamond in the U.S. by the RIAA and six times platinum by Music Canada.

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The music publisher claimed that Spotify’s agent, the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), had placed Lose Yourself in the “copyright control” category reserved for when the copyright owner for a song(s) is unable to be found — something Eight Mile called “absurd.”

“Despite Lose Yourself being one of the most famous and popular songs in the world… Spotify simply committed willful copyright infringement,” the document said.

“ did not pay for the vast majority of the more than a billion unlicensed streams of one of the most well-known songs in history.”

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Eight Mile later pointed its finger towards the Music Modernization Act (MMA) — a bill signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump last year — claiming that Spotify did not comply with the law’s requirements properly.

The MMA was put into place in an attempt to improve copyright protection and make it easier for rights holders to get paid appropriately when their music is distributed on online streaming platforms.

Eminem performs at the 2018 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., on June 9, 2018.

Eminem performs at the 2018 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., on June 9, 2018.

Getty Images Archive

“Spotify did not license the compositions from Eight Mile at any time, and subsequently has not complied with the requirements of the (MMA) properly or fully for the interactive streams of the Eight Mile Compositions, including with respect to Eminem’s iconic hit Lose Yourself,” the lawsuit read.

“Meanwhile,” they added, “Spotify gained the financial benefit of tens of millions of Eminem fans becoming Spotify users and subscribers.”

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The document concludes by saying the “plaintiff respectfully demands a trial by jury.” A court date has not been granted or set.

According to Pitchfork, Eight Mile is seeking profits and damages. Complex also reported that Eminem is not a plaintiff in this lawsuit.

Global News has reached out to a representative of Spotify seeking comment.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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