Judge: Eminem Can Sue over iPod Commercial
A lawyer for the hip-hop artist, 31, said his client would seek more than $10 million in damages.
The TV ad – featuring a 10-year-old boy singing the Oscar-winning theme song to the rapper's movie 8 Mile – appeared several times over a three-month period beginning in July 2003 and on Apple's Web site, despite the fact that the computer company had unsuccessfully sought Eminem's permission for the campaign, reports the Associated Press.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled that she would allow the endorsement and copyright claims to go to trial, but she threw out two Michigan state law-based claims of unfair competition and unjust enrichment, according to the Detroit News.
Herschel Fink, a Detroit lawyer for the defendants, said no viewer would think Eminem was endorsing the iTunes service.
"Just the words and lyrics can't give rise to an endorsement claim that Eminem endorsed Apple's iPod or iTunes where his likeness was not used," Fink told the News.
Howard Hertz, a lawyer for Eminem and his music publisher, told the paper that he was pleased that the judge allowed the case to go forward, even though portions of it were dismissed, and that his client has never nationally endorsed any product.