The New York Post reports that the battle between Eminem and owners of The Source magazine over the white rapper's racist lyrics will go to trial, a federal judge ruled yesterday. Manhattan federal Judge Gerard Lynch said he will have to hear all the facts before ruling on whether The Source violated the copyrights of Eminem's label, Shady Records, by publishing controversial excerpts of two songs — "Oh Foolish Pride" and "So Many Styles" — without permission. The dispute centers on lyrics that 32-year-old Eminem, whose real name is Marshal Mathers, wrote as a teenager. They include lyrics such as "black girls are dumb, and white girls are good chicks". The Source co-owners David Mays and Raymond Scott, who obtained copies of the songs, have accused Eminem of racism. Eminem, who has apologised for the lyrics, insists that The Source has nonetheless infringed his copyrights by publishing them.
The IPKat recalls that there was once a time when the fact that a work contained obscene, blasphemous or seditious content meant that, in the UK and the US, the courts would not assist in enforcing any copyright in it against an allegedly infringing third party. It would be good to put those old precedents on trial and see if they have any relevance in today's more relaxed atmosphere. Merpel adds: "So long as Eminem doesn't say anything bad about cats ..."
Cat references in Eminem lyrics here