Eminem’s publishing company, Eight Mile Style, has filed a copyright infringement suit against Spotify. The lawsuit claims Spotify has infringed hundreds of song copyrights and challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed music licensing law.
The suit also claims that although Shady’s music has garnered billions of streams on the service, Spotify has failed to properly pay the publisher for the activity.Among the estimated 250 songs in question are several of Eminem’s massive hits. The suit claims that though Eminem’s songs have streamed billions of times on Spotify, “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 these streams.”
‘The complaint cites “Lose Yourself,” which the plaintiff alleges was placed in a category called “Copyright Control,” where songs are relegated when the owner is unknown. The lawsuit claims it is “absurd” that Spotify would not be able to identify the song’s owner as it’s “one of the most well-known songs in history.” The 2002 8 Mile track peaked at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The lawsuit also targets the Music Modernization Act (MMA), and claims that Spotify was not compliant with the new law, which was intended to update copyright rules for the digital and streaming era and aid music creators in receiving royalties due. The suit alleges that Spotify “didn’t engage in the required commercially reasonable effort to match sound recordings with the Eight Mile compositions as required by the MMA.”
As relief for alleged copyright infringement, Eight Mile seeks Spotify’s substantial profits, which the complaint painstakingly attempts to attribute to sweeping copyright theft of songs like “Lose Yourself.” (Universal, Sony, and Warner Music own big equity stakes in Spotify.) If the plaintiff runs into trouble demonstrating how Spotify has benefited from failing to secure licenses, the lawsuit seeks in the alternative the maximum amount of statutory damages — $150,000 for each of the 243 works at issue, which computes to $36.45 million. The lawsuit also seeks a judicial declaration that Spotify does not qualify for limitation from damages under the Music Modernization Act as well as a second declaration that the law’s retroactive elimination of damages available for copyright infringement is unconstitutional.