Eminem's Lawsuit Over Download Payments Settled

Outcome may change royalties system for many artists

Eminem performs at Coachella in Indio, California.
C Flanigan/FilmMagic
November 1, 2012 5:15 PM ET

Eminem's production company, FBT Productions, and his label, Aftermath Records, have settled their lengthy legal battle over payment for downloads, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Details of the settlement were not made available – nor has Eminem commented on the outcome – but in their request for a dismissal, FBT told the Los Angeles federal court that "this action has been settled to the satisfaction of all parties." Last fall, FBT filed a motion saying it was seeking $1.5 million in damages; the motion, however, was rejected by federal judge Philip Gutierrez, who said at the time that new damages would have to be calculated.

FBT initially sued Aftermath and its parent company, Universal Music Group, in 2007, with the production company claiming that song downloads should be considered licensed songs instead of physical sales (as the latter commands a much higher royalty rate). As such, the case has been closely watched by the music industry, as it will likely affect how labels and artists work together in the digital era.

In the wake of Eminem's lawsuit, many other musicians have sued their labels for millions of dollars in revenue for downloads and ringtones. Back in March, the band Toto sued Sony BMG over unpaid royalties, as did the Temptations with their label, Universal Music Group; other artists like Kenny Rogers, Peter Frampton and Public Enemy have filed similar suits against their respective labels.

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