Update: UMG Speaks On Eminem Digital Royalty Case, “The Claims Are Completely Baseless”

Update: UMG Speaks On Eminem Digital Royalty Case, “The Claims Are Completely Baseless”

Former Eminem publishing company F.B.T. Productions is scheduled to appear in court today (February 24) to address a lawsuit against Universal Music Group over digital royalty payments.

In a statement to SOHH.com Universal disputed reports of Eminem being the person behind a lawsuit suing Universal Music Group.

“The claims made by F.B.T Productions are completely baseless as a matter of fact and meritless as a matter of law, and we look forward to presenting our side in court.” (Statement)

Former Eminem collaborators, Mark and Jeff Bass of F.B.T. Productions, are suing the Grammy winning rapper’s record company.

“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 is not expected to appear himself, witnesses in the case will include 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)

Em’s music has had a strong impact on iTunes including his latest hit “Crack a Bottle.”

The rap triumvirate of Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent will soar 78-1 on The Billboard Hot 100 to be posted tomorrow morning (Feb. 12) with “Crack a Bottle,” which sets a Nielsen SoundScan record for opening week download sales (418,000). The first-week sum outpaces the prior mark of 335,000 downloads shifted by T.I. featuring Rihanna in the Oct. 18, 2008, issue. Among all weekly totals, “Bottle” ranks third behind Flo Rida‘s “Low” (467,000 on Jan, 12, 2008) and Lady GaGa‘s “Just Dance” (419,000 on Jan, 10, 2009). (Billboard)

The rapper is known for having chart-topping songs.

“Crack a Bottle” could become Em’s highest-charting single since his 8 Mile hit “Lose Yourself” hit No. 1 in 2002. Em’s last Hot 100 appearance occurred in 2006 with “You Don’t Know,” which hit No. 12 on the chart. (Detroit News)

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