Supreme Court Denies Appeal Against Eminem Producers
In the case between Eminem producers F.B.T. Productions and Universal Records, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the record label’s appeal. Instead, it will uphold the 2010 ruling by the 9th Circuit Court, which granted Em and his production team 50 percent of Universal’s net receipts — rather than the standard royalty rate of 18-23 percent — on music that was distributed digitally.
The initial suit was filed in 2004, when F.B.T. Productions, also known as The Bass Brothers, sued Em’s label for an increased percentage of his digital download earnings. F.B.T. claimed that digital downloads fall under a “master licensed” clause, for which the artist should receive a 50 percent royalty, in turn granting their production company a higher share.
The 9th Circuit Court found the suit in F.B.T.’s favor in September of 2010, a ruling now upheld by the Supreme Court. At the time of the lower court’s ruling, a spokesman for Universal Music Group made a point of stating that the ruling sets no legal precedent, and cannot be used by other artists attempting a similar royalty arrangement.
“It should be noted that this ruling sets no legal precedent as it only concerns the language of one specific recording agreement,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement.
F.B.T. productions are credited with discovering Eminem in 1995, producing the majority of his work on the ‘The Slim Shady LP’ and ‘The Marshall Mathers LP,’ before his signing to Dr. Dre‘s Aftermath Records, a part of the Universal Music Group umbrella.