Music Article

Legal Mathers

Eminem sues Apple, MTV over iTunes ad. He says the commercial used ''Lose Yourself'' without his permission, implying his endorsement of the download service

Eminem is the real Slim Shady -- not that kid in the Apple iTunes ad who sang along to an MP3 of ''Lose Yourself.'' That's why, according to wire service reports, the rapper filed a copyright suit over the allegedly unauthorized use of his Oscar-winning song in the ad. Eight Mile Style, Eminem's publishing company, filed suit on Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit against Apple, ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day, MTV (which aired the ad for three months, according to the suit), and MTV parent company Viacom.

According to the 15-page suit, the ad for the music download service ran for three months last summer on MTV and on Apple's website. While the suit doesn't specify the damages, it says that Eminem could have pocketed a hefty fee for an authorized endorsement. ''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,'' the suit said. There's been no comment on the suit yet from any of the defendants, though the suit claims that Apple CEO Steve Jobs actually tried to negotiate with Eight Mile Style for the use of the song. (Eminem responded to the entreaty by breaking off talks.) Maybe the ad's creators felt it would have been so empty without him.

Originally posted Feb 24, 2004