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Eminem claims Facebook infringed on copyright

Los Angeles readers know that Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook, but they may not know he is also a fan of the rapper Eminem.

So is the fact that the music that sounds a lot like an Eminem song was used at an event in April to launch a new Facebook feature, and the music used in subsequent advertisements, a coincidence?

Eminem's camp believes it isn't and recently filed suit over the choice of music, claiming copyright infringement.

Essentially, Eminem believes that the music that was used in the campaign mimics his own so closely that it amounts to basically taking his music without his permission (and without paying him for its use).

In an interesting twist, Facebook and the ad agency it hired to produce the publicity responded that Eminem did not really produce the music he is claiming Facebook stole. They claim first that they did not use Eminem's music without authorization and even if they did, the argument goes, Eminem and his collaborator Dr. Dre stole the music themselves from Michael Jackson, so it isn't even really theirs in the first place.

As you can tell, how original the Eminem song is in the first place is going to be an issue in this case.

In our Los Angeles office, we handle entertainment law cases similar to this one. We find entertainment law very interesting because it often involves questions of originality, creativity, aesthetic and other difficult-to-define concepts. Entertainment law cases can be challenging, but we welcome a chance to put our legal training and experience to work.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Eminem's Music Publisher Suing Facebook (Exclusive)" Eriq Gardner, May 20, 2013