Eminem's publishing company alleges that Facebook used an unauthorized version of one of the Detroit rapper's songs in an advertisement for the Facebook Home application. The social media giant, and an advertisement agency named in the infringement complaint, will have to respond to the allegations this month or face penalties.
Courthouse News reports that Eminem's song publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed the copyright infringement complaint in May. The company says Facebook used a track “substantially similar” to, “Under The Influence,” which appeared on Em's third album, The Marshall Mathers LP. After several court filings, Facebook has until June 18 to respond to the legal summons or face a default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.
Wieden + Kennedy, the agency that created the “Airplane” Facebook Home ad, has until June 25 to respond. According to Eight Mile Style, an attorney for the defendants claimed that Eminem's producer, Dr. Dre, composed the song by borrowing elements of Michael Jackson's “Give It To Me.” That claim was later found to be false.
Mark Zuckerberg was also named in the complaint as well. Noting that the CEO was a “longtime fan” of Eminem, the complaint makes mention of Zuckerberg using Wieden + Kennedy's ad during the unveiling of Facebook Home in April.
Eight Mile Style has taken on lawsuits such as these before. The company sued tech giant Apple over the use of one of Eminem's biggest hits, “Lose Yourself,” in a commercial for iPod. The case was settled in 2005. The same track was part of another lawsuit after a European company used the song illegally.
Eight Mile Style is seeking an injunction, court trial, damages and costs.