In an unusual twist of matters concerning lawsuits and music downloads, Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, the music publisher and copyright manager for Eminem, has filed suit against Apple for copyright infringement over the company's iTunes music store download service.
The lawsuit falls on the tails of Apple announcing over three billion songs sold
through its iTunes music store since its inception just four years ago and Universal not renewing its digital distribution contract
Eight Mile Style is claiming that Universal Music, the record label that represents Eminem and various other artists, did not have permission to license the music to Apple for digital distribution. This suit against Apple, which is not the first brought forth by Eminem
, seeks £36,900 for copyright infringement and up to £73,800 in damages for every time a song was downloaded.
It seems though that the dispute isn't over the actual downloading of the music itself but has more to do with the wording of the contract between Universal and Eminem. With digital distribution an unlikely vehicle for music sales as the time that the contract was signed, no provisions were made for it. This could open a can of worms for Apple, with the iTunes catalogue boasting more then five million songs, 500 movies, and 550 television shows. Just how many artists fall through this loophole is yet to been seen.
Should further contract provisions be made in artists' contracts to allow for the use of not-yet-developed technology, or are there some people who just can't have enough money? Let us know what you think over in the forums
or in the comments section below.