Facebook faces copyright infringement lawsuit over Eminem song

Eminem collects a Grammy Award at Staples Center in February 2011. The company that licenses his songs says Facebook infringed on its copyright.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

A music publisher is suing Facebook and its ad agency for using an Eminem song without permission in an ad for Facebook Home.

Eight Mile Style, which oversees Eminem’s portfolio, said in the copyright infringement lawsuit that ad agency Wieden + Kennedy included an Eminem song in the commercial “to curry favor with Facebook by catering to [founder Mark] Zuckerberg’s personal likes and interests.”

The lawsuit alleges that days before the ad premiered at the April 4th Facebook event the agency noticed an old website allegedly belonging to Zuckerberg. On the site, “Mark” refers to himself as Slim Shady, Eminem’s nickname.


The song in question — “Under the Influence” — comes from Eminem and D12 on the 2000 album “Marshall Mathers LP.” The lawsuit claims that the music in the advertisement was altered slightly after the premiere. The suit alleges the alteration amounted to an admission by Facebook that the music was used without permission. In that later version of the ad, the music plays for about 40 seconds in the one-minute ad. (Watch it below.)

After Eight Mile Style sued Apple in 2005 for using Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in an iPod commercial, the two companies settled out of court.

Facebook declined to comment on the lawsuit, and the ad agency couldn’t be reached.


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