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Eminem producers win victory in iTunes royalty case

updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon September 6, 2010

Could have echo effects in music industry

Eminem producers FBT Productions have scored a significant upset in a case against Universal Music involving iTunes royalties. A court of appeals has rejected an earlier court decision, which suggested that song and ringtone sales at iTunes could be treated in the same way as CD sales, generating only 12 percent in revenue for the music's creators. If carried through, the ruling will instead see Universal sublabel Aftermath pay FBT 50 percent of its related intake, under a contract provision that treats iTunes sales as reusing masters.

Although ruling may apply explicitly to the relationship between Aftermath and FBT, it could potentially have larger ramifications in the music industry. As a result of Eminem's success, Universal may have to pay FBT substantial amounts of cash. It could also lead to other musicians and production studios demanding a better share of digital royalties.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    ...

    I'm all for artists receiving more royalties, but not like this.. An iTunes sale should count as a CD sale!

  1. Chris Hutcheson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    comment title

    I don't agree. Putting a tune on itunes costs less than CD packaging, media, etc. Artist revenue should be proportionately higher.

  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    true..

    true, but in that case the should get more for that reason explicitly, not because it's considered "reusing masters". by stating that digital download is totally different than CD, they open the door for all kind of abuse by lawmakers in the future!

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Like...totally!

    Um, digital download IS totally different from CD. There are no material production costs, which music companies use to justify the lion's share of revenue. Also, both ends of the transaction pay for "delivery" in terms of bandwidth consumed. It's time that the comparison cord was totally cut between physical sales and digital downloads. Period.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Low Sample Rate

    iTunes only sell 256k sampled music tracks.
    NOT Apple Lossless and NOT uncompressed AIFF.

    So, Apple is NOT selling true CD quality music in terms of the raw data included in each song.
    Why should people pay full price for less music?

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    For greed there is always a Solution

    For greed there is always a Solution, just don't buy it. And greed ends.

    Since 2008 I stopped buying CD and begin to bought all my music from digital sources, like iTunes. But if digital music prices increase because of the greed of some music Vampires, there are lots of alternatives, like: Download it, torrent it, record it from CD borrowed by your friends. But also make money contributes/donations to the real creators and artists, because they are the ones that deserve the money.

    A little theoretical but there are lots of solutions for greed.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: true..

    but in that case the should get more for that reason explicitly, not because it's considered "reusing masters". by stating that digital download is totally different than CD, they open the door for all kind of abuse by lawmakers in the future!


    They did state that explicitly. Or did you miss the phrase in the article: "under a contract provision that treats iTunes sales as reusing masters."

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: For greed there is always a Solution

    For greed there is always a Solution, just don't buy it. And greed ends.

    Where is the greed? That one producer argued that another owed them more money from a contract? Yeah, how dare they ask for their 'fair' share, vs. what someone deemed they should get.

    Since 2008 I stopped buying CD and begin to bought all my music from digital sources, like iTunes.

    So? Is this related to the greed argument? Or did you just feel the need to mention it to make yourself feel like an expert or something?

    But if digital music prices increase because of the greed of some music Vampires, there are lots of alternatives, like: Download it, torrent it, record it from CD borrowed by your friends.

    Wait, you start off saying the "solution" to greed is not buying it. But what you really mean is "If it's too expensive, I'll just 'steal' it instead." So your stand against greed isn't "Just don't buy music that's too expensive" (waiting for your definition of 'too expensive', I'm guessing 99 cents is the correct value for the end of time, any more, even due to inflation, will not be tolerated), but "I still need to get my hands on all that crappy music, but I'll show them, I'll get it from other sources and they don't see a penny!".

    That's not taking a stand, that's just trying to justify your cheapness and getting music from nefarious sources because you don't think you should pay what someone wants to charge, but you feel you still have the right to get what it is they're selling.

    But also make money contributes/donations to the real creators and artists, because they are the ones that deserve the money.

    And, of course, that's exactly what self-respecting artists want. Not to sell you their art, but to take your charity.

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