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Thu Mar 05 22:15:42 SAST 2015

Eminem sues Audi

Reuters | 06 June, 2011 15:30
Rapper Eminem
Image by: Frederick M. Brown

Eminem has filed a cease-and-desist order against Audi, alleging the German carmaker illegally used the rapper's Oscar-winning song "Lose Yourself" in a commercial for its new 2012 Audi A6 Avant.

"Lose Yourself" is the same music Eminem authorized Chrysler to use in its "Imported from Detroit" campaign for its new Chrysler 200 model.

Eminem starred in a spot for the campaign which debuted during the Super Bowl and has been viewed by more than 10 million people online. In addition to the use of the song, Audi's commercial, which has not aired in North America, uses very similar visuals to the Chrysler spot. In Chrysler's version, Eminem drives past Detroit's key landmarks. The car in the Audi commercial drives past Berlin's tourist sites.

Eminem's Detroit-based publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed the order against Audi in a Hamburg regional court this week. The company has also said it will seek damages. The order only makes reference to Audi's alleged unauthorized use of the song and does not include allegations that Audi may have copied the Chrysler campaign.

But in a statement, Joel Martin, a spokesman for Eight Mile Style, said, "we believe Audi not only used "Lose Yourself" to sell their product without permission, but their spot actually feels inspired by elements of Chrysler's commercial campaign."

"Apparently someone believes that the definition of copyright laws is the right to copy others' materials, including world-renowned successes created by Chrysler Group brands," commented Chrysler Group spokesman Gualberto Ranieri, responding to the new Audi commercial, which first aired at a press event in Berlin May 19. So far, however, Chrysler has not said whether it will seek legal recompense.

Eight Mile Style has been an aggressive defender of Eminem's copyrights. Two years ago, the company settled out of court with Apple on claims that the company's iTunes service illegally profited from the digital downloads of Eminem's songs licensed from the rapper's label Aftermath Records.

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