The 2007 lawsuit initiated by former Eminem producers FBT Productions LLC against Aftermath/Interscope is going to trial today. Marky and Jeff Bass of FBT Productions are credited with production on the first three Eminem albums. The suit was spawned from a longstanding industry practice of record labels licensing content to third party distributors, such as Apple’s iTunes. In the original suit, FBT claims Aftermath did not have the right to license songs to Apple or other third party content providers. Record labels have the right to distribute physical CDs, but this lawsuit implies that they don’t have the right to distribute music digitally.
The Honorable Ronald M. Whyte will preside over the case of F.B.T. Productions LLC et al v. Aftermath Records et al. A source close to the situation spoke with HipHopDX to clear up false reports that Eminem initiated this lawsuit against Universal, which is the distributor of both Aftermath and Eminem’s Shady Records imprint.
“It’s these two guys that had Em way before he signed to Aftermath,” the source explains. “Neither Eminem nor anyone in his camp is associated with them in any way. The suit includes Universal because they distribute Aftermath, but Em wants to make sure everyone knows he’s not involved in this.”
A similar suit was filed in 2004 by the Eight Mile Style publishing company, after the song “Lose Yourself” was licensed to Apple for an iTunes ad which also promoted his album. As it currently stands, when Apple sells songs for $0.99 on iTunes, approximately $0.70 go to the label, which then in turn gives $0.091 cents to the publisher.