Facebook responds to Eminem song publisher’s claim it violated copyright laws; view court details

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Eminem’s song publisher Eight Mile Style, based in Ferndale, received Friday a response from Facebook about a copyright infringement lawsuit. (AP photo)
DETROIT, MI – Facebook and an advertising agency hired by the social media giant denied Friday allegations by Eminem’s Ferndale-based song publisher Eight Mile Style that it violated a song’s copyright.

Facebook and its Oregon-based advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy Inc. submitted to a Detroit court a written response to the allegations that states music used in a commercial wasn’t similar to an Eminem song called “Under the Influence.”

An excerpt from the written response, obtained by MLive Detroit, that defends the music used in a Facebook commercial called “Airplane:”

“Plaintiffs’ copyright infringement claim fails because the music contained in the Commercial is not substantially similar to protectable expression contained in the musical composition “Under the Influence.”

The Facebook/Wieden + Kennedy Inc. response mentions that “any infringement that allegedly occurred was de minimis>”

These defendants had until Friday to respond to Eight Mile Style’s legal complaint issued May 21, and will likely now wait indefinitely to see if a judge believes the plaintiff has a case.

The plaintiff claims the music used in “Airplane” is “substantially similar to the Eminem “Under the Influence” song and mentions that “any ordinary observer would absolutely recognize the music as being a copy of the Eminem/D12 composition.”

“Under the Influence” was written and composed by Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Eminem) and his D12 members.

The song was featured on Eminem’s third studio album, “The Marshall Mathers LP,” Slim Shady’s most commercially successful album to date (22 million copies sold), according to the plaintiffs’ 10-page complaint.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is mentioned in the plaintiff’s complaint as a “longtime fan of Eminem” who reportedly referred to himself as “Slim Shady” on a personal website he created in 1999.

Facebook and its advertising agency deny the claim, but do mention in Friday’s response to the allegations that “Mr. Zuckerberg respects Eminem as a musical artist.”

Eight Mile Style, according to a PR Newswire release, owns and controls 225 compositions on multi-million dollar selling albums, including all of rap artist Eminem’s first four solo albums.

 

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/detroit/index.ssf/2013/06/facebook_responds_to_eminem_so.html

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