An LA jury rejected claims by former Eminem producers FBT Productions that Universal owed $1.47 million in underpaid digital royalties. At stake was whether or not royalties from sales at digital stores like iTunes should be calculated as CD sales or at the much higher licence rate because there was no physical product manufactured.
A win would have meant millions of dollars for artists whose contracts pre-date downloads and ringtones. “It’s a big disappointment,” Joel Martin, one of the plaintiffs told Bloomberg News and said he would appeal. The jury did award FBT $159,000 on a seperate claim that Universal had miscalulated royalty payments.