News: Eminem Wins Big Royalty Lawsuit Against Universal Music Group

Monday, Sep 6, 2010 10:41AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Grammy-winning rapper Eminem and his former production company have reportedly been ruled in favor to receive more financial payments from past song and ringtone downloads.

Details on the ruling have already begun circulating across the Internet.

A federal jury last year had ruled against F.B.T. Productions LLC in its lawsuit against Universal Music Group seeking a greater share of revenue from downloads made between 2003 and 2008. But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found Friday that F.B.T.'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. (Associated Press)

Despite the decision, Universal has plans to continue the court battle.

Friday's ruling probably doesn't presage a stampede of artists and their auditors beating up their record labels for more money. For one thing, Universal vowed in a statement to seek a retrial and asserted that anyway, the ruling is not precedent setting. "We will be filing a petition for a rehearing," the company said. "In the meantime, it should be noted that this ruling sets no legal precedent as it only concerns the language of one specific recording agreement. Any assertion to the contrary is simply not true." (Wall Street Journal)

Although Em was named in the lawsuit, he supposedly did not play an active role in pursuing the case.

"Eminem is not a party to this lawsuit," [said a rep for Slim Shady]. The real plaintiff is F.B.T. Productions, a music publishing company affiliated with the rapper early in his career, which is taking Universal to court today in a bid to score millions in profits from digital download revenues, including iTunes and ring tones. (Entertainment Weekly)

Though Eminem was not slated to appear in court last year, witnesses in the case included various high-profile people.

A jury was seated Friday, with a star-studded witness list, starting with Jimmy Iovine, a founder of UMG. Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computers, Inc., is scheduled to testify, by video. "This is very significant case," said Jay Cooper, an entertainment lawyer with vast experience in the music industry. "A lot of people are going to be watching very closely because there's a lot of money involved." (The Wrap)

Check out some recent Eminem footage below:

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