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iTunes Holdout Update: Led Zep Comes Aboard, Eminem Jumps Ship?

Photos: Getty Images (Eminem), David Redfern / Redferns / Retna (Zep); Courtesy of Apple Computer (Logo)

Fans of hobbity heavy metal rejoice! After years of holding out, famously prickly rockers Led Zeppelin have agreed to release their music for digital download on the iTunes Music Store. Not all their music, mind you, just a compilation of some of their greatest hits, including “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love.” So if you’re eager for rights-managed digital copies of Led Zep songs you already own on CD, you’re in luck. Zeppelin’s decision leaves the Beatles and Radiohead as the last megabands who don’t allow their music to be downloaded online; recent rumors had the Beatles and Apple settling their trademark-related differences soon, but there’s been no definitive news.

However, just as Zep joins the Apple family, it looks like Eminem may be suing his way out of it. The rapper’s publishing company, Eight Mile Style, is suing Apple because, although download profits are distributed to publishers via record companies in iTunes’ business model, Eight Mile Style never granted permission despite being a partial copyright holder in all 70-plus Eminem songs currently available for download. While discussion of the case risks devolution into boring law-talk, this is a real issue for downloadable music outlets, and the lawsuit will help to determine whether iTunes and other online music stores will need to seek permission all over again for artists whose music they already sell.

Or you could just upload it all off your CD collection and be done with it.

Led Zeppelin join the net generation [Guardian]
Eminem sues Apple over downloads [BBC]

iTunes Holdout Update: Led Zep Comes Aboard, Eminem Jumps Ship?