Apple has less than a day to settle its dispute with rapper Eminem, over his music being downloadable on its iTunes music store, before the case goes to federal court.

The Guardian reports that "last minute talks are taking place between lawyers for Apple and Eminem as the iPod maker attempts to avert a costly and potentially embarrassing court battle with the rap star."

Apple and Enimem need to broker a settlement ahead of today's deadline. His publishing company Eight Mile Style claims that Apple has wrongly made as much as $2.5m from unauthorised sales of the Detroit rapper's songs through iTunes.

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The case hinges around the availability on iTunes of 93 Eminem tracks, which the rapper says were not authorised for sale as digital downloads.

Apple v Eminem iTunes downloads

Eminem's music publisher and copyright manager, Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, claim Apple isn't permitted to sell music by the artist because Eminem has not agreed to grant his label, Universal, the rights to sell such music.

Apple's deal is with Universal Music. Under that deal the company pays Universal a substantial slice of the money earned through iTunes sales.

There are 300 Eminem songs available on the UK iTunes service.

"Eight Mile and Martin have not provided that permission," says the complaint.

"Therefore, Apple's reproduction and distribution of the digital transmissions via iTunes constitutes a continuing, and willful, infringement of Eight Mile's and Martin's copyright interests."

Apple denies the allegations and claims that its deal with Aftermath is legal.

In 2005 Apple and Eminem settled out of court after Apple ran a advert that featured a trademark silhouetted figure dancing to the song Lose Yourself.