Judge Rules In Favor Of Eminem In Source Copyright Case

On Tuesday, a judge ruled that The Source magazine

failed to comply with a copyright order during their feud over controversial lyrics

Eminem recorded years ago.

Federal Judge Gerard E. Lynch said Source Enterprises

violated an injunction to halt the publishing of the controversial lyrics when

they posted them on their website.

A small amount of damages were awarded to Shady

Records, while the Source's counterclaim was dismissed.

In his decision, Lynch said The Source could

damage Eminem's credibility by publishing the lyrics, which the magazine defended

as a journalistic expose.

"Mathers is the most prominent of the handful

of white Hip-Hop artists who have been artistically or commercially successful,"

Judge Lynch wrote. "Like other white musicians who have been successful

in musical genres or forms pioneered by Africans or African-Americans, from

Benny Goodman to Elvis Presley to Paul Simon, Mathers has been accused of exploiting

black culture; he in turn has asserted his respect for his black role models

and peers, and has maintained that he comes by his Hip-Hop success honestly,

as a young man from a poor urban background who has long been associated with

African-American friends, neighbors and mentors."

While the ruling could be viewed as a set back

for The Source, the magazine still has a larger case open verse Eminem, who's

label, Shady Records called the publishing of the recording and lyrics copyright

infringement. That case is still being litigated.

The judge almost viewed the publishing of Eminem's

lyrics as a deliberate attempt to disregard the injunction, stating "the

degree of acrimony and lawyerly zeal in this litigation makes it inconceivable

that Source was unaware that Shady would be vigorously monitoring its compliance

with the order."

In December, Lynch ruled The Source could release

up to :20 seconds of the CD and stated that the usage of the snippets fall into

fair use of copyrighted materials with the intent to criticize.

Lawyers for The Source maintained they had the

right to publish the material and to inform the public about the controversial

recording, which features Eminem using the N word and making degrading remarks

about African-American women.