Eminem's publisher Eight Mile Style has filed a major copyright lawsuit against Spotify, The Hollywood Reporter has said. The publisher claims the streaming giant has willfully infringed hundreds of song copyrights. The suit, which was filed in Nashville on Wednesday, could cost Spotify billions.
Eight Mile Style claims that Spotify has been playing "Lose Yourself" and 250 more of the rapper's songs without having the license to do so. It argues that despite streaming Eminem's works billions of times, the service has made "random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams."
What's more, "Lose Yourself" has been placed in a Spotify category called "Copyright Control," which apparently is only used when the copyright holder cannot be found. Eight Mile Style has said this claim is "absurd" as the the track is "iconic" given it hit the top spot on the Billboard 100 and was central to the film 8 Mile, even winning an Oscar for best original song.
The suit also challenges a recently passed music licensing law: the Music Modernization Act (MMA). The MMA is essentially intended as a way to make it easier for publishers, artists, song writers, etc, to get paid for their work. It works by running songs through a database run by Mechanical Licensing Collective that matches them with their owners, through which blanket licenses are issued.
However, the MMA created a deadline to sue for copyright infringement, which fell at the end of last year. Eight Mile argues that this denial of retroactive profits is unconstitutional. As this case develops it could have the potential to go before the Supreme Court.
This is not the first time Spotify is being sued, last year we reported a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company.