Eminem’s music publisher recently filed a lawsuit against Spotify for alleged copyright infringement. According to the suit by the publisher, Eight Mile Style, the music streaming platform failed to get proper licences. They were to get these licenses for the Eminem’s music. However, they allegedly did not. The publishers now want Spotify to compensate them for billions of streams.
First Spotify faces the accusation of ignoring the publisher, Eight Mile Style’s ownership of Eminem’s catalogue. This they allegedly did when they decided to pay out streaming revenue for the playback metrics. Secondly, Spotify faces the accusation of violating sections of the Music Modernization Act (MMA). The act passed in October 2018. It helps to streamline the process for creators to receive payment for online music streams.
The suit stated that the publisher had an issue with how Spotify treated massive hits by Eminem. A major one mentioned is the 2002 hit song, “Lose Yourself”. The publisher says the streaming service labelled the song and some others as having unknown rights. Eight Mile Style alleged that Spotify did not go through due process to obtain the license for some Eminem songs including Lose Yourself.
Eminem’s team not involved?
Lose Yourself was originally written for the film, “Eight Mile”. The song also went ahead to win Best Original Song at the Oscars in 2003. Spotify allegedly kept Eminem’s music on their platform without the right credits. Keep in mind Eminem has over 32 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Apparently, users have also streamed some of these songs millions of times on Spotify. Now the suit looks to hold Spotify responsible for not giving the adequate royalties despite knowing the owner.
According to the complaint, “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.”
However, Eminem’s publicist, Dennis Dennehy, confirmed that Eminem himself is not a part of the lawsuit. Apparently, the publishing company that signed Eminem to his first record publishing deal owns Eight Mile Style. This means that the recording company clearly reserves rights to the first part of his catalogue. Dennehy the news of the lawsuit surprised them.
The lawsuit filed by Eight Mile Style may amount to damages worth billions of dollars. This is because the publishers seek damages on a per-song basis. In total, they seek damages for 243 bodies of work.