by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 31st 2007 4:01pm
We've had plenty of folks submitting to us the story that Eminem's publisher is suing Apple over Eminem songs available on iTunes. It's getting some play around the tech news and tech blog world, but everyone seems to be missing the key point. Eminem's publisher is suing the wrong party. No one denies that Universal Music Group, who distributes Eminem's music, gave Apple permission to sell his songs on iTunes. What's in dispute is if Universal had that right in the first place. In other words, it's a contractual issue between Eminem's publisher, Eight Mile Style, and Universal. Suing Apple seems to just be for the publicity of it. However, what this does demonstrate is how ridiculous it is whenever anyone presents the RIAA's views as "the music industry's views." The RIAA represents the labels, and not the musicians and not the music publishers in many cases -- all of whom have different goals. And, clearly, the label often does things that the other components of the music industry just don't like. However, it's a bit sad that Eminem's publisher has decided to sue Apple rather than the publisher with whom it has a distribution contract. In fact, the complaint is nearly identical to one that a bunch of bands filed last year. It's just that those bands (such as the Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick) had their lawyers actually sue the record label (in that case, Sony Music), rather than Apple.
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