In these fiscally bleak times everyone’s trying to get their paper, even one of the world’s biggest rappers. Eminem and his former production company, FBT Productions, recently won an appeal against Universal Music Group for royalty money. The decision comes after last year’s jury verdict determined no extra revenue was due from unpaid digital and ringtone sales between 2003 and 2008. However, last week a federal judge determined otherwise.
The suit started when FBT reps requested a 50-percent royalty rate for music sold via iTunes. However, Universal only offered up the standard percentage given for physical sales. Although Eminem himself was not an active participant in the lawsuit, he stands to reap some of the profits. According to FBT’s Joel Martin, so does the rest of the music industry.
“This potentially readjusts the economics between the artist and the record company, and that’s been long overdue,” Martin told the Detroit Free Press. “It puts Eminem in a position he should have been in to begin with, which is to receive a larger portion of the download royalties.”
While some believe this case has the potential to spark similar suits, where artists seek bigger profit shares of digital sales, label heads are skeptical. “It should be noted that this ruling sets no legal precedent,” Universal spokesman Peter Lofrumento wrote in a statement, “as it only concerns the language of one specific recording agreement.”
Despite the current win for FBT, Universal reps expressed plans to appeal the latest decision. Stay tuned to XXLMag.com as more information on the case develops. —Trevor Rockland