In February 2009, I wrote an article about Eminem’s publishing company taking Universal Music Group to court and the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was going to testify. Jobs did provide a deposition for that case and now a group of musicians is bringing a class action lawsuit against UMG. These musicians are interested in hearing Jobs’ deposition from back then, but Apple is fighting against making the deposition public claiming that it contains ”highly confidential and proprietary trade secrets.”
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F.B.T. Productions Posts
Mark and Jeff Bass are producers based out of Detroit that helped Eminem produce some of his tracks. They own a company called F.B.T. Productions and they decided to sue Universal Music Group and Aftermath Records, the record label founded by Dr. Dre. F.B.T. believes that they were owed more money from digital download sales. They argued that digital album sales are different froms ales of traditional CDs. However a judge ruled in favor of Universal Music.
F.B.T. wanted to have digital sales made on Apple iTunes be treated under a master recording deal between Universal and Apple. After that F.B.T. would have split the profits with Universal 50-50 and then provide part of that 50% to Eminem directly. However the record label is currently paying F.B.T. and Eminem 12% of sales which is the same rate agreed for the sale of physical albums.
The case was filed in late February.
Eminem’s publishing company F.B.T. Productions will finally be appearing in court against Universal Music Group over digital music royalties. The trial will feature witnesses such as Universal Music Group head Jimmy Iovine and Apple CEO Steve Jobs via video. F.B.T. Productions is seeking additional royalties from purchases made through digital music services like iTunes. Eminem himself isn’t expected to appear in court.
Eminem sued Universal based on how much the record company was taking away in digital royalties. If P.B.T. wins the case, it could significantly impact how much the record labels make from online music sales. This past summer, fellow Detroit native artist Kid Rock decided to have his music removed from iTunes because the record labels were already taking away too much money even after iTunes takes their cut.
Eminem’s record company is seeking about $1.3 million to settle the lawsuit. The main defendant in this case is Aftermath Records, the label founded by Eminem’s friend and mentor Dr. Dre. One of Eminem’s singles from his upcoming album broke a digital download record. Eminem’s “Crack a Bottle” featured Dr. Dre and Eminem and had about 418,000 download sales in the first week.
[via The Wrap]