Apple, Eminem headed for trial as talks break down

Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:03pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc and Eminem have failed to settle a lawsuit over whether the rapper's songs can be downloaded on the iTunes music service, paving the way for a federal trial to begin on Thursday.

Eight Mile Style LLC, Eminem's music publisher, had accused iPod maker Apple in a 2007 lawsuit of having used 93 songs in a downloadable format on iTunes without permission.

It also sued Aftermath Records, saying it had no right to approve digital downloads, despite having control of Eminem recordings under agreements entered into in 1998 and 2003.

The non-jury trial is expected to be held in federal court in Detroit, Eminem's hometown.

Last-ditch talks held on Wednesday before a federal magistrate judge in Ann Arbor, Michigan, broke down after three different mediators had previously been unable to broker a settlement.

"The case did not settle today and we are expecting to start trial first thing tomorrow morning," Howard Hertz, a lawyer for Eight Mile Style, said on Wednesday.

Apple spokeswoman Susan Lundgren said the Cupertino, California company does not discuss pending litigation. Lawyers for Apple and Aftermath could not immediately be reached.

Another plaintiff in the case is Martin Affiliated LLC, which has a portion of Eight Mile Style's interests.   Continued...

<p>Eminem accepts the award for best hip hop video for "We Made You" from Jennifer Lopez (R) at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, September 13, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>