Eminem’s record label loses legal battle with rapper’s ex-publisher

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Universal Music to pay royalties to FBT Productions

Eminem‘s record label Universal Music has lost a legal battle against the rapper’s former publishing company.

Papers filed at the District Court for the Central District of California on Friday (September 6), viewable at Scribd.com, showed that Judge Silverman deemed that Universal owed FBT Productions money the company had gained from digital sales of Eminem‘s music.

Eminem signed to FBT in 1995, before he found fame, with the company signing over rights to his music to Universal in 1998. Under the terms FBT would be due a percentage of money gained from “records sold” they had signed over. However, a dispute arose because Universal claimed that digital sales were not included under the terms.

The contract was made before the rise of digital music sales.

Universal won the case in March last year, but on appeal Judge Silverman reversed the decision on Friday (September 3).

Universal are expected to have to pay FBT several million dollars following the ruling.

Judge Silverman said in the court papers: “FBT reasserts that the Masters Licensed provision unambiguously applies to permanent downloads and mastertones. We agree that the contracts are unambiguous and that the district court should have granted summary judgment to FBT.”