Supreme Court Action Will Net Eminem Millions In Music Downloads Case

Whether the arena be the Grammys, Oscars or freestyle rap battles, you don’t want to face Eminem as an opponent. That’s a lesson Universal Music Group learned when it took on the rapper in the Supreme Court, which refused to hear its appeal in a lawsuit over downloadable music. The court’s refusal to hear the case, reports the Detroit Free Press, probably means Eminem won between $40 million and $50 million from the publisher.

The case, which dates back to 2007, involves a dispute between a company that represents Eminem and the studio over the amount of royalties it owes over ringtones and downloads. Universal claimed the rate was the standard 18 percent of suggested retail price, but the Eminem reps considered downloads a licensing situation, meaning they were entitled to 50 percent of net revenue. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision to side with Eminem’s reps.

A Universal spokesman downplayed the significance of the decision:

“The case has always been about one agreement with very unique language. As it has been made clear during this case, the ruling has no bearing on any other recording agreement and does not create any legal precedent.”

The Supremes have sent the case back to trial court to determine damages.

Eminem’s side wins $40M to $50M victory as Supreme Court lets royalties ruling stand [Detroit Free Press]