A major music rights trial started in a Detroit courtroom last week, pitting Eminem’s record label, Eight Mile Style, against Apple. http://www.freep.com/article/20090924/NEWS01/90924015/1039/ENT/Eminem-camp–Apple-face-off If Apple loses the bench trial, experts are predicting a restructuring of music rights that could lead to higher royalties for performers.
Eight Mile claims Apple did not have a license to reproduce and sell downloads of 93 Eminem songs, from which it claims Apple has earned $2.58 million. (Other than a brief license for ‘Lose Yourself’ before the iPod era, Eight Mile claims it has never licensed Eminem songs.) Eight Mile is also suing Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records for allowing the downloads.
Richard Busch http://www.kingballow.com/kb.php?pageref=Busch of Nashville’s King & Ballow is defending Eight Mile. He claims Eminem’s contract with Aftermath did not extend the rights to allow download of the songs on iTunes.
Glenn Pomerantz http://mto.com/lawyers/bio.cfm?id=92 of Munger Tolles is defending Apple, saying Apple has a license on the songs and Eight Mile made 9 cents from each iTunes download.