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Pirate Copiers Force Early Release of Eminem Album

Bad-boy rapper Eminem’s eagerly awaited album, “The Eminem Show,” is to be released a week earlier than planned, on May 27, because pirate copies are already in circulation, his record label said on Monday.

Interscope Records, a unit of France’s Vivendi Universal, said the early worldwide release of the album, which had been due on June 4, should minimize the impact of the illegally manufactured copies.

“We’re disappointed that inferior pirated copies of “The Eminem Show” are in circulation, which is why we’ve decided to make the legitimate version available sooner than originally planned,” said Max Hole, Universal’s head of marketing.

Eminem – real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III – has already hit the headlines with the album, in which he throws a four-letter word at Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife.

The Detroit-based star, a favorite target of Lynne Cheney in her criticism of the record industry, unleashes the offensive word against her on the “White America” track of the album.

“The Eminem Show” is the rapper’s third major-label release. Its first single “Without Me” is already getting strong airplay on the radio and reached No 20 in the last week’s Hot 100 chart.

Music piracy is an increasing headache for the entertainment industry, which is spending millions of dollars developing “copy proof” discs to try and preserve their sales revenues.

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