Court won't get involved in Eminem royalty suit

Detroit rapper Eminem had a school career plagued by truancy and poor grades, even repeating ninth grade because of it. He dropped out of high school at age 17. JENS DIGE

Eminem performs onstage during the 2010 BET Awards on June 27, 2010, in Los Angeles. (Getty)

(CBS/AP) The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to get involved in the case between Universal Music Group and rap artist Eminem and his producers, F.B.T. Productions, over music sold online.

PICTURES: Eminem

On Monday, the high court refused to hear an appeal from Universal Music Group.

The dispute surrounds the royalties that Eminem and Universal Music Group are entitled to for music sold online, including downloads from Apple Inc.'s iTunes.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said F.B.T. Productions LLC's contract entitled Eminem and his producers to a 50-50 split with Universal for recordings licensed to digital distributors such as iTunes.

The record label, however, has been paying F.B.T. and Eminem 12 percent of sales, the agreed-upon rate for physical - not digital - albums.

Anita Wadhwani of the Tennessean notes that the higher court's denial of the appeal means the case will return to the Los Angeles courtroom where the case was first heard, within 30 to 60 days to determine damages, according to Richard Busch, the Nashville-based attorney with King & Ballow, who represents Eminem's producers, FBT Productions.

F.B.T. discovered Eminem in 1995 before he signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records in 1998. Universal's Interscope Records distributes Aftermath recordings.

The case is Aftermath Records v. F.B.T. Productions, LLC,10-768.

  • Marielena Hatzigiannis

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