Hollywood Because of the level Internet piracy and illegal bootlegging surrounding "The Eminem Show," the latest album from rap star Eminem, the label has had to push the album's release date up a week earlier than previously announced, to May 28.
Additionally, to encourage fans to purchase an authorized copy of the album and prevent further Internet piracy, music executives have decided to package a limited edition behind-the scenes DVD with performance footage and an animated cartoon with the first 2 million copies released domestically.
"Obviously everybody wants this record now," says Eminem in a statement about fans making illegal bootlegs of his new album. "We're putting it in stores as soon as we can so they can buy a real copy."
This is probably the first time the release date of an album of this magnitude has been affected because of digital piracy.
"It's a shame there's so much counterfeiting that the release date had to be moved up, but we now can offer a great added-value package with the free DVD," says Bob Higgins, Chairman and CEO of Transworld Entertainment, operator of the largest specialty music retailer in the U.S. with 900 stores, including the Coconuts chain. "We're unhappy about the circumstances even though we're happy to see it a week early because it's definitely in demand."
Adds Steve Berman, Interscope Geffen A&M head of sales and marketing: "In today's digital universe, where piracy and bootlegging are occurring in every city in the world, we had no choice but to respond to an enormously frustrating problem. With the support and cooperation of both the artist and our partners at retail, we are doing everything we can to ensure a smooth transition to the new street date."
Eminem's last album, "The Marshall Mathers LP," released in 2000, has been certified eight times platinum.