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Lawyers to Eminem: Don't sue Apple

updated 05:35 pm EDT, Mon August 20, 2007

Eminem lawsuit might flop

Recording artist Eminem would be unwise to pursue his lawsuit against Apple, according a several prominent copyright lawyers. Attorneys say Eminem's lawsuit, among other similar suits, is unlikely to proceed very far, but the real goal of the litigation is to challenge the claim by record labels that they have the right to negotiate Internet sales on their behalf. "This particular issue is a real sore spot in the industry," Jay Rosenthal, legal counsel for the Recording Artists' Coalition told ZDNet. "It's the gorilla in the room, and you're going to start seeing more of these suits as you start to see layoffs and cutbacks."

At issue is the revenue that artists derive from digital downloads -- a cut many say is unfair in the wake of declining CD sales. Artists receive about 16 cents per album sold at retail outlets, while the music publisher gets 9.1 cents. Lawsuits allege that artists receive about 4.5 cents on every 99-cent digital download.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, unit sales and revenue from CD sales declined more than 12 percent in 2006. In 2005, they fell 8 percent. Apple's persistence with a 99 cent per song model may put it in the cross-hairs as this issue is played out through the courts, since most record companies, and in turn artists, want to see more flexibility in track pricing, with newer more popular releases fetching a higher cost than older titles in less demand.

Among the others artists who have expressed discontent over their cut of download revenues are Cheap Trick and The Allman Brothers Band, who jointly filed a lawsuit last year that accused Sony BMG Music Entertainment of shortchanging them.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. bloggerblog

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    eliminate the middelman

    music artists have traditionally been ENSLAVED by the label companies.

  1. unity@mac.com

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ditto

    What he said. Any smart artists can smell the death of labels and I bet they want out.

    But can you imagine flexible pricing in a few years? It will be like movie ticket pricing! Worse yet, it may become a "status" thing with hot new tracks selling for mucho bucks!

    "So I just got the NEW NIN track that was JUST released today, sure I paid $15 for the track but HAD to have it. Did you get it"

  1. heavyboots

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    now I'm confused

    [quote]At issue is the revenue that artists derive from digital downloads -- a cut many say is unfair in the wake of declining CD sales. Artists receive about 16 cents per album sold at retail outlets, while the music publisher gets 9.1 cents. Lawsuits allege that artists receive about 4.5 cents on every 99-cent digital download.[/quote]

    So... if there are 10 tracks on an album, they would make $.16 from a CD and $.45 from digital downloads? How is that worse?

  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    not $.45

    more like $ 0.045

  1. pcarrington

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    M and M???? Aberrant Hum

    Greetings As far as I'm concerned, Eminem's news is right up there with Vick's news about dog fighting! In fact, maybe Eminem should fight some of Vick's dogs and get this: over with and, off my news radar screen. This country has much bigger fish to fry than these aberrant human offspring protoplasmic off-shoots. Have a nice day.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    nice!

    Aberrant Hum - now THERE's a great name for a group

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Some math

    Old way: 0.16/14.99= 1.07% New way: 0.045/.99=4.5%

    What is the big deal? They are making more money per track. Oh yeah, with the CD sales model you have to buy all of the other 9 or more crappy tracks from EMINEM to get that one crapy one that plays on the radio.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    $$$???

    If an artist gets $0.16 and the publisher gets $0.09 and it costs about $0.95 to produce who gets the other $10-12 from the sale, Wall-mart?

    Apple gets about $0.06 per track on itunes, so are the lables getting $0.88, which is nearly 10x what they get from a cd sale?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    let me get this straight

    cheap trick and the allman brothers want older songs to sell for less? yeah that will really help them out.

  1. one

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    an inside view

    Label != publisher, first off (publisher / sheet music).

    Second, the labels make practically every dime spent on recorded music. They know a number of ways to make sure that they never have to pay an artist anything.

    The industry view is that cds/whatever are promotional for the band, and that's fair value. Artists pay for everything in the end, and have to tour 10 months of the year to pay for the vans they tour in....

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