Eminem's music publisher sues Spotify for $36M accusing the streaming giant of infringing copyright on hundreds of the rapper's songs

  • Eight Mile Style filed the suit on Wednesday in a federal court in Tennessee
  • Accuses Spotify of infringing the copyright of hundreds of Eminem songs
  • Seeks $36.45 million in total statutory damages for the alleged infringement
  • It is just the latest legal challenge to Spotify, which has a market cap of $26B
  • Eminem is also no stranger to civil court, with a long history of lawsuits 

Eminem's music publisher has filed a lawsuit against Spotify, accusing the streaming giant of infringing copyright on hundreds of the rapper's songs.

Eight Mile Style filed the civil suit on Wednesday in a federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, accusing Spotify of willful copyright infringement by streaming Lose Yourself and hundreds of other Eminem songs.

According to the complaint, Spotify has no license for Eminem's compositions, despite streaming these works billions of times.

Stockholm-based Spotify, which went public last year and is valued at $26 billion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.

Eminem is seen at an event in London last month. His music publisher has filed a lawsuit against Spotify, accusing the streaming giant of infringing copyright on hundreds of songs

Eminem is seen at an event in London last month. His music publisher has filed a lawsuit against Spotify, accusing the streaming giant of infringing copyright on hundreds of songs

In the suit, Eight Mile requests statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 243 songs it says that Spotify infringed, for total damages of $36.45 million.

The new lawsuit also takes aim at the Music Modernization Act, a federal law enacted in October, calling the law 'unconstitutional.'

The MMA essentially gave music streamers a blank slate by wiping out liability for prior infringements.

Eight Mile is being represented by attorney Richard Busch, who also represented Marvin Gaye's family in its successful copyright suit over Blurred Lines. 

A decade ago, Busch also represented Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, against Universal Music Group in a landmark case that explored whether digital downloads should be treated as 'licenses' or 'sales'.

Stockholm-based Spotify went public last year and is valued at $26 billion (file photo)

Stockholm-based Spotify went public last year and is valued at $26 billion (file photo)

Eminem is no stranger to civil courts, and has been involved in a number of other high profile suits. 

In 2017, his publisher sued New Zealand's National Party's for the use of the song Eminem Esque in a 2014 television campaign ad that was run 186 times before it was pulled off the air.  

Eight Mile Style said the track was a rip-off of the rapper's acclaimed 2002 song Lose Yourself, while the party said the song was inspired by the rapper's hit but is different. 

In that case, a New Zealand court ruled against the National Party and ordered them to pay $600,000 plus interest in damages.

Eminem was also notably sued in 2012 by a homeless man in New York, who claimed that the rapper had stolen his idea for a Super Bowl commercial.

The $9 million suit was dismissed for failure to show grounds for relief.  

Brief history of Eminem's lawsuits

This abridged history shows some of the notable lawsuits involving the rapper Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers.

1999: Debbie Mathers-Briggs vs Marshall Mathers 

Eminem's mother sued him for $10 million in Michigan court, alleging that he slandered her as a drug addict in his lyrics on The Slim Shady LP.

Mathers-Briggs received a settlement of $1,600 after court costs. 

2005: Jack and Betti Schmitt v Marshall Mathers

Eminem’s uncle and aunt, Jack and Betty Schmitt sued him in Michigan claiming that he promised them $350,000 for a house, plus maintenance allowances, but that he kept the house and tried to evict them. 

Macomb Circuit Judge Mary Chrzanowski dismissed claims and tossed the case out of court. 

2007: Eight Mile Style v Apple

Eminem's music-publishing company sued Apple and Aftermath Entertainment, claiming that Aftermath was not authorized to negotiate a deal with Apple for digital downloads of 93 Eminem songs on Apple's iTunes.

The case against Apple was settled shortly after the trial began, in late September 2009.

2012: Stephen Lee Pieck v Marshall Mathers

A homeless man in New York claimed that the rapper had stolen his idea for a Super Bowl commercial after a phone conversation.

The $9 million suit was dismissed for failure to show grounds for relief.  

2017: Eight Mile Style v New Zealand National Party 

Eminem's publisher sued New Zealand's National Party's for the use of the song Eminem Esque in a 2014 television campaign ad that was run 186 times before it was pulled off the air.  

Eight Mile Style said the track was a rip-off of the rapper's acclaimed 2002 song Lose Yourself, while the party said the song was inspired by the rapper's hit but was different. 

In that case, a New Zealand court ruled against the National Party and ordered them to pay $600,000 plus interest in damages.

 

Eminem's music publisher sues Spotify for $36M

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