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Eminem Lawsuit May Apply To A LOT Of Other Musicians!

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Wow - this has opened up quite the can of multi-million dollar worms!

As we've reported, the Supreme Court may not want to get involved in the current legal dispute between Eminem's former production company and Universal Music Group regarding the way royalties are distributed for digital music - basically, whether or not a song sold on-line she be categorized as a license or a sale (Slim gets 50% royalties for a license, but 12% for a sale) - but apparently, the rapper isn't even the one set to benefit from the drama the most, because it would help out thousands of older artists not recording music anymore!

While the lower court ruling that digital music should be treated as a license, this won't affect new performers, because their contracts have been revised since 2000 or so to include digital sales among royalties - BUT many older artists' contracts predate that, and now have the opportunity to ca$h in on the decision BIG TIME!

Lawyer Richard S. Busch, who represented Eminem's company, F.B.T. says:

“Unlike physical sales, where the record company manufactures each disc and has incremental costs, when they license to iTunes, all they do is turn over one master. It’s only fair that the artist should receive 50 percent of the receipts.”

And lawyer Fred Wilhelms, who specializes in collecting music royalties for clients, elaborates:

“The labels make tens of millions of dollars a year from the deep catalog without paying a penny in promotion costs. Anybody who ended their recording career before 1978, and probably before 1992, is in the decision. For people who had a single hit, who couldn’t afford to chase $100 in owed royalties, they are now looking at a couple thousand. It’s worth a couple phone calls and an angry letter or two.”

However, Universal counters:

“The case has always been about one agreement with very unique language. As it has been made clear during this case, the ruling has no bearing on any other recording agreement and does not create any legal precedent.”

Hmm…that sounds like wishful thinking on their part, seeing as most lawyers seem to think that a lot of people are legally obligated to a whole lotta money that they've been missing out on for quite some time!

What do U think?? Should one-hit wonders and older artists be getting royalties for their music?

[Image via WENN.]

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Supreme Court Doesn't Care About Eminem Legal Dramz

Filed under: Music MinuteLegal MattersEminem

supreme court doesnt care about eminem legal drama

Looks like they'll have to figure this out somewhere else!

Supreme Court has refused to get involved in a dispute between Eminem's former prod company, F.B.T. productions, and Universal Music Group.

The drama has to do with downloads of Em's songs & ringtones.

According to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, F.B.T. Productions LLC's contract "entitled Eminem and his producers to a 50-50 split with Universal for recordings licensed to digital distributors such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes."

F.B.T. and Em had been paid 12 percent of sales, which is the "agreed-upon rate for physical albums."

Hopefully they're able to resolve everything as painlessly as possible sans Supreme Court.

[Image via WENN.]

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Will The Supreme Court Decide On Eminem Royalties Case?

Filed under: Music MinuteEminem

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That's what Universal Music Group, Aftermath, and Interscope Records want.

The company that discovered Eminem, F.B.T. Prods, was awarded a higher royalty rate on digital downloads and ringtones back in September when they won an appeal to the Ninth Circuit that gave them 50% of royalties on Eminem's music. The rates usually run between 12 and 20%, however because the justices saw digital downloads as "licenses" rather than traditional sales, F.B.T. was awarded more.

So now, UMG wants to take the case to the Supreme Court, filing a writ of certiorari that petitions for a hearing.

According to the petition, UMG wants the Supreme Court to decide on whether or not F.B.T. was allowed to appeal the royalties case in district court after a full jury trial had already taken place.

This would be a first for the music industry as it would help decide on how royalties for digital music would be handled in the future.

What do U think? Should the case be taken to Supreme Court?

[Image via WENN.]

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Eminem Wins Royalty Lawsuit

Filed under: Legal MattersEminem

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Eminem's gonna get paid!

A federal appeals court has found that Eminem's former production company F.B.T Productions LLC is entitled to royalties by Universal Music Group (UMG) for music downloaded over iTunes or sold as cellphone ringtones.

Last year, a federal jury ruled against F.B.T., however, the appeals court ruled on Friday that the contracts between UMG and F.B.T. "unambiguously applies to permanent downloads and master-tones," which entitles Eminem and his producers to a 50-50 split for recordings licensed to iTunes and other digital distributors.

This ruling could potentially affect how record labels and artists make financial deals in the future. Very inneresting!

[Image via WENN.]

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