Rap star Eminem's publishing companies have gone to court in an attempt to stop his songs being sold as mobile phone ringtones over the internet.
Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated are seeking a court order against five companies in the US District Court.
Lawyers also plan to sue karaoke firms that fail to obtain proper licences, reports BBC.
“This is a big business; we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,” Howard Hertz, a lawyer representing Eminem, said. The companies named in the ringtones suit are Cellus USA, of Colorado, FanMobile, of Georgia, Nextones.com, of New York, MyPhoneFiles and MatrixM LLC, both of New Jersey.
Ringtones have become big business for musicians, espec-ially now that handsets are sophisticated enough to play original songs, or “realtones”, to indicate an incoming call.
According to a recent study by Informa Telecoms & Media, the global mobile phone music business will be worth about $4.9 billion (Ј2.8 billion) this year, growing to about $11.3 billion in 2010, informs Times.