If you currently have a ringtone of the Eminem hits "Stan" or "The Real Slim Shady," they may soon be illegal. Em and his publishing companies, Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, have filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Detroit, seeking a court order blocking five companies from illegally selling his songs as ringtones. The companies named in the suit are CellusUSA, FanMobile, Nextones.com, MyPhoneFiles and MatrixM LLC.
"This is a big business. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Howard Hertz, a lawyer for the companies and Eminem, told The Detroit News.
And forget about singing "Ass Like That" at the bar on karaoke night. Next, Slim Shady and the publishers will be going after karaoke companies that offer his songs for sale to bars and other locations without permission. "We're going to be going after any ringtones or karaoke companies who use his songs without getting the proper licenses," Hertz said.
Aside from the lawsuit, Eminem has been laying low since early August, when he canceled a European tour and then checked into a drug-rehabilitation facility to treat a dependency on sleep medication. MTV.com says that late last week, a spokesperson for Eminem said there was no update on his condition or whether he'd been released from the facility.