Piracy Forces Change In Eminem Release Date

The release date of Eminem's third Aftermath/Interscope album, "The Eminem Show," has been moved up one week to May 28 to minimize the loss of sales to bootlegged copies of the set, which already are

The release date of Eminem's third Aftermath/Interscope album, "The Eminem Show," has been moved up one week to May 28 to minimize the loss of sales to bootlegged copies of the set, which already are available on the street and the Internet. The first two million copies of the album will still come bundled with a free DVD featuring performance and behind-the-scenes clips. It had been hoped the inclusion of the DVD would prevent mass bootlegging of the album before street date.

Interscope, Universal Music & Video Distribution, and retailers are scrambling to accommodate the change. "It will cost me a ton" to change the print advertising, redo commercials, and rearrange midnight sales, says one merchant.

UMVD president Jim Urie says, "Interscope went to superhuman length to keep this release secure. They did things far beyond what any label has done and it is a shame that it was circumvented." Indeed, journalists assigned to review the album were required to listen to it at Interscope's offices with a label representative present. "This was a very hard decision to make, and it wasn't taken lightly," Eminem's spokesperson tells Billboard.com.

As previously reported, Eminem will hit the road North America this summer with Papa Roach, Xzibit, Ludacris, and others on the Anger Management tour. The trek begins July 18 in Buffalo, N.Y.
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