The publishing company, known as Eight Mile Style, has filed a lawsuit against Facebook and its advertising agency claiming that their 30-second ad, titled "Airplane," infringes on Em's copyright by copying his 2000 song "Under the Influence," the Detroit Free Press reports.
The ad was first broadcast online April 4 in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of Facebook Home, the site's new platform for Android phones. On the same day as the announcement, WebProNews noted the similarities between the ad and "Under the Influence."
The funniest thing about the whole situation is that Em's original track, recorded with his pals in D-12, certainly isn't the type of tune you'd use to welcome consumers. It opens with the lyrics, "So you can suck my d--k if you don't like my sh-t / Cause I was high when I wrote this, so suck my d--k."
Of course, Facebook allegedly used an instrumental recreation of the track, but we can't help but wonder if Zuckerberg was really trying to tell potential Facebook Home users what they could do if they don't like it.
The hoodie-wearing Zuckerberg is a noted Eminem fan. In fact, on what's reportedly his old Angelfire hompage, a young Zuckerberg goes full-on Eminem in his "About Me" section, writing, "Hi, my name is…Slim Shady. No, really, my name is Slim Shady. Just kidding, my name is Mark."
The lawsuit maintains that the Portland, Ore.-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy replicated Eminem's song "in an effort to curry favor with Facebook by catering to Zuckerberg's personal likes and interests, and/or to invoke the same irreverent theme" of his music.
A press representative for Facebook declined to comment on the suit when contacted by Yahoo! Music. A rep for Wieden+Kennedy told us the firm does not comment on legal matters.
Although Facebook is named in the complaint, this legal dogfight actually appears to be between Eight Mile Music and Wieden+Kennedy. A source tells us that letters demanding the spot be pulled weren't directed at Facebook, and the attorneys that have responded to the suit represent the ad agency, not Facebook.
The original commercial is no longer available, but a new version featuring different music has turned up on YouTube and television. In their lawsuit, Eight Mile Style claims that the change in the ad "was an admission that Facebook knew it had infringed" on Eminem's song.
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