Eminem’s publishers sue Facebook for copyright infringement

The social networking site claims the song 'Under The Infuence' was actually a rip-off of a Michael Jackson track

Eminem‘s music publishing company has launched legal action for copyright infringement against Facebook.

The rapper’s company Eight Mile Style claim Facebook used music in an advert released at an event in April that sounded “substantially similar” to Eminem’s track ‘Under The Influence’ without getting permission first. The advert – titled ‘Airplane’ – was used to promote the social network’s new mobile software. It was first released online but the company changed the background music and re-released the video.

The publishers also claim that Facebook’s advertising agengy used the track to please founder Mark Zuckerberg, who is said to be a big Eminem fan. Facebook’s lawyers have responded by claiming the song, which featured on 2000’s Dr Dre-produced ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’, sounds like a Michael Jackson song, which they say makes it exempt from copyright infringement.

Eight Mile Style responded to Facebook’s claims with a statement which reads (via The Independent): “After wrongfully disparaging Dr Dre with inflammatory accusations about his practices as a producer and his alleged ‘long, well-documented history of copyright infringement,’ (which is misguided, gratuitous and irrelevant since Dr Dre was not involved in the creation of the Eminem/D12 Composition)”

It adds: “The letter continues with bizarre allegations that Dr Dre has actually stolen from Michael Jackson because ‘Under The Influence’ is supposedly a rip-off of one of Michael Jackson’s songs.”

Eight Mile Style is seeking maximum damages of $150,000 (£100,000)