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Thursday, September 23, 2004, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Eminem, Apple in settlement talks, ask for trial delay

Apple and rap artist Eminem are looking to settle their legal dispute outside of court, but will need more time to do so.

Lawyers for Eminem's music label, Apple Computer and MTV have asked a federal judge to delay the trial schedule following settlement talks in the rapper’s copyright infringement suit, according to the Detroit News.

The lawsuit, which was filed in February by Eminem's publisher—Eight Mile Style— alleges Apple used the song "Lose Yourself" in an advertisement without permission.

In the ad, a 10-year-old sings the lyrics to Eminem's Oscar-winning "Lose Yourself," which was also featured in the rapper's blockbuster flick, "8 Mile." The commercial aired on MTV for at least three months starting in July 2003 and also appeared on Apple’s Web site, the suit said.

The suit alleges that Apple sought Eminem's permission to use the song, but were turned down, with his lawyers saying “even if (Eminem) were interested in endorsing a product, any endorsement deal would require a significant amount of money, possibly in excess of $10 million.”

The suit also claims that Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, personally called Joel Martin, the manager of Ferndale-based Eight Mile Style, encouraging Martin and Eminem to "rethink their position" about using the song.

Lawyers for all sides reportedly told U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor this week that they have been engaging in negotiations of a stipulated protective order for several weeks now, in hopes of resolving the case.

Court records also show that "Both (sides) have expressed interest in continuing settlement discussions, but have not yet been able to reach any agreement."

The Detroit News says under the revised schedule, a trial date wouldn't be set until late 2005, with witness lists would be due Dec. 1. Both sides would reportedly be able to question up to 10 people before trial, which may include Eminem and Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs.