Eminem Wins Again in Battle With The Source

Slicksno.com - EminemRap magazine The Source has been ordered to pay Eminem’s legal fees for violating a federal court order not to publish full versions of the rapper’s racially charged lyrics.

The Source published the lyrics of an Eminem song on its Web site in January, violating a temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch in December.

In a pair of rulings made public Wednesday in the copyright dispute between the magazine and the rapper, Lynch ordered The Source to pay legal fees to Shady Records Inc., Eminem’s label.

The judge compared Eminem to Benny Goodman and Elvis Presley in finding success in musical genres created by black artists. But he said the First Amendment protects the rapper’s “musical commentaries on life.”

“It is for fans of hip-hop, and not for this court, to decide what if anything this episode means for their opinions of Mathers as a man and as an artist,” the judge said in a statement.

In December, the judge allowed the magazine to publish limited excerpts from the lyrics and to distribute CDs containing small clips of the songs.

The 30 second audio clip featured the alleged voice of Eminem saying, “Blacks and whites, they sometimes mix / But black girls only want your money, ’cause they’re dumb chicks.” Later in the freestyle Em raps, “Never date a black girl, because blacks only want your money / And that sh!t ain’t funny.”

Eminem, now 31, released a statement in which he downplayed the tape as the “stupid” antics of a teenager that were made out of anger and frustration after breaking up with a black girlfriend.

“I did and said a lot of stupid sh*t when I was a kid, but that’s part of growing up. The tape of me rapping 15 years ago as a teenager that was recently put out by The Source in no way represents who I was then or who I am today.”

Judge Lynch also dismissed a countersuit filed by The Source against Shady Records and Eminem himself, in which the magazine claimed it held the rights to the songs.

But he denied a request by Shady Records to fine the magazine thousands of dollars because the magazine quickly removed the lyrics in January when lawyers complained.

Michael S. Elkin, a lawyer for The Source, defended the publication of the lyrics telling The New York Times, “The Source had every right to publish the material it did release to inform the public about who Eminem is,” he told The New York Times.

Shady Records has issued no official comment on the rulings.