Universal Music Group avoided disaster Friday (March 6) after a federal jury ruled in favor of the current business model for royalties in a lawsuit involving Eminem’s catalog.
Mark and Jeff Bass of F.B.T. Productions, the duo responsible for many of Em’s earlier work had sued UMG for $1.3 million in unpaid royalties. They alleged that music sold digitally—both as songs and ringtones—constituted as “masters” and thus commanded a standard 50% royalty rate as opposed to the 12% rate they received for traditional CD sales.
However, the Los Angeles Times reports that the jury agreed with UMG’s understanding that there was no difference between a song purchased in a store and one purchased online. In response, the Bass brothers have vowed to keep fighting, though they were awarded $159,000 in underpaid royalties.
The media conglomerate also made headlines a few days ago with their efforts to create a premium music site in partnership with YouTube. Tentatively titled “Vevo,” the site would increase ad and viewing revenue by commanding rates greater than those currently offered by YouTube. – Devin Chanda