Eminem's music publisher launched a lawsuit against Facebook and its advertising agency Monday, claiming that the social-media site used the rapper's music for an ad without first obtaining permission.
Eight Mile Style filed documents accusing Facebook of copying music from Marshall Mathers' 2000 song "Under the Influence" for an online advertisement that broadcast in early April. The Detroit Free Press reported that Eight Mile Style is pursuing complaints with the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, arguing that the company was attempting to "curry favor with Facebook by catering to Zuckerberg's personal likes and interests and/or to invoke the same irreverent theme."
The agency's attorney, Guy Cohen, dismissed the claims, suggesting that the publisher did not have a right to claim copyright, saying "Under the Influence" was a copy of Michael Jackson's 1991 song "Give in to Me" and that its producer, Dr. Dre, has experienced several instances where artists claimed he infringed on their copyrights. But the song's credited producers were the Bass Brothers, not Dre, and its writers were fellow members of Mathers' D12 group, undermining Cohen's arguments.
The lawsuit follows in the footsteps of successful collaborations between Eight Mile Style and Widen + Kennedy, the latter of whom was responsible for Eminem's 2011 Super Bowl advertisement for Chrysler in which "Lose Yourself" was used. But Eight Mile Style has engaged in several past lawsuits for similar claims, including a case against Apple for using "Lose Yourself" in an iPod ad and another with Audi over the use of music in an automobile ad that sounded similar to "Lose Yourself."