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Apple, rapper Eminem could end up in court over iTunes battle

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
If Apple and Eight Mile Style LLC, publisher of artist Eminem, are unable to resolve a dispute by Thursday, the two parties will end up in trial over the sale of songs on iTunes.

The lawsuit stems from 2007, when the rapper sued Apple over the sale of his songs in iTunes, alleging the tracks were sold without his blessing. Also included in the lawsuit is Aftermath Records, the company that controls Eminem's songs.

According to Reuters, the matter will head to trial this week if the parties involved are not able to reach a last-minute deal. Eminem and Eight Mile Style allege that Apple is providing downloads of the artist's song through iTunes without proper permission. Apple, along with Aftermath Records, contends that not only is their arrangement legal, but the publisher has received royalties for the sale of songs on the iTunes Music Store.

A conference with Judge Virginia Morgan is scheduled for Wednesday with the involved parties in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Under most contracts with their labels, artists receive around 20 cents -- or less than 30 percent -- of the approximate 70 cents Apple pays labels for the sale of each 99 cent song sold, under the assumption that such sales are part of a distribution deal. But Eminem's attorneys have argued that since digital sales differ from traditional record store sales. They say the music content has long been licensed with restrictions, and artists should see a 50-50 split, or about 35 cents a song, per their existing agreements.

When songs are sold on iTunes, the overhead usually required to promote and distribute is no longer the responsibility of the record label. Instead, that responsibility falls on Apple, which runs the iTunes Music Store. As such, Eminem and Eight Mile Style believe that the artists are entitled to a larger share of digital downloads, and less should go to the labels.

Eminem and Apple have had their share of disputes in the past. In 2004, the rapper sued the iPod maker after he alleged that Apple illegally used the song "Lose Yourself" in an advertisement without his permission. That suit was later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
post #2 of 42
Looks like another out of court settlement. Next.
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Looks like another out of court settlement. Next.

Naw Eminem going to release a rap diss record about Apple
post #4 of 42
Sam Kinison sums it up for me in his song Rap Sucks on his Live from Hell album.
post #5 of 42
Artists should get more and downloads should be cheaper than buying a physical CD, good luck Mr Mathers, I hope you can kick start a revolt against greedy studios!
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post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Artists should get more and downloads should be cheaper than buying a physical CD, good luck Mr Mathers, I hope you can kick start a revolt against greedy studios!

if artists don't like their corporate masters then maybe they should pay for all the production costs of their albums themselves?

the last beyonce album had something like 5 videos but i noticed the same actors between them so i'm guessing they were all shot at the same time. Figure $30 million or so production costs for the videos and another $5 million for the album.

even madonna with all her cash still goes through a record company
post #7 of 42
i see two issues going on here

1. did Apple have permission to sell the tracks. very likely yes. they would have paperwork between themselves and the controlling company. now if the controlling company didn't have the power to make that deal is a separate issue that Apple can't be held for. not unless you can prove that Apple knew the company didn't have the power and didn't care. but I doubt there is proof of that

2. how much money the artists make. this is not an issue for Apple. this is between artist and holding company.
post #8 of 42
Just take all his garbage music off iTunes.
post #9 of 42
I take it in this case we are using the term "music" very loosely!
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

if artists don't like their corporate masters then maybe they should pay for all the production costs of their albums themselves?

the last beyonce album had something like 5 videos but i noticed the same actors between them so i'm guessing they were all shot at the same time. Figure $30 million or so production costs for the videos and another $5 million for the album.

even madonna with all her cash still goes through a record company

They do pay for the production costs themselves, it is taken out of the money they get for the sales of the tracks. If you actually look at what the labels pay for it is not that much!

This is interesting :-

http://www.postaudio.co.uk/education...breakdown.html
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

They do pay for the production costs themselves, it is taken out of the money they get for the sales of the tracks. If you actually look at what the labels pay for it is not that much!

This is interesting :-

http://www.postaudio.co.uk/education...breakdown.html

It depends on the artist , someone like Eminem or Beyonce were their selling power is very high will get their lawyers to structure the deal, such that their label/record company would have support some of the production costs. Also record companies pay upfront money to the high calibre artists, who have consistent given a return.

Note: average artist, i agree does have to pay all the production costs, but Eminem, very much doubt is one those artists.

Also Eminem has his own label, which is taking a slice of the pie as well.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

I take it in this case we are using the term "music" very loosely!

Let's not get into that discussion, since one one man's nightmare is another man's flavour.
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Let's not get into that discussion, since one one man's nightmare is another man's flavour.

Different strokes for different folks!
Does the opera lover like country? Does the country music lover like opera?
Do the Beatles like Apple?
post #14 of 42
I hate these whinny musicians. I have my stuff on iTunes and I think that the deal is very fair. Eminem is just an idiot and they should just pull his crap off iTunes. The iTunes system is the best thing since the corner music store and they shouldn't change a thing.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Naw Eminem going to release a rap diss record about Apple

I hear his next video features the Pre.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I hear his next video features the Pre.

Oh no, not another Dr Pre and Enimem duet.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

They do pay for the production costs themselves, it is taken out of the money they get for the sales of the tracks. If you actually look at what the labels pay for it is not that much!

This is interesting :-

http://www.postaudio.co.uk/education...breakdown.html

Just support your point for 'average artist', I found this US contract for musicians on the web (http://www.angelfire.com/tn/capitolm...nt/asm/six.pdf). Now I know its old (mentions 7", 45's and 33s), but it gives us additiona understanding of what is paid for with concern to recording costs (just need to include video productions costs).

see part about recording costs below:-

5. “Recording costs” means all costs incurred with respect to the production of
sides embodying Artist’s performances. Recording costs include, but are not limited to,
union scale, the costs of all the instruments, musicians, vocalists, background vocalists,
conductors, arrangers, orchestrators, copyists, producers, etc., payments to a trustee or fund
based on wages to the extent required by any agreement between the company and the
various labor organizations in the music business, payments to a trust fund or bank account
set aside for the purpose of paying recording costs, all studio payments and costs for the
various engineers (master engineers, assistant engineers, mastering engineers, mixing
engineers, post-mastering engineers and editing engineers), the costs for recording tape of
all kinds, both analog and digital, editing in the digital editor, mixing or remixing, per
diems or cartage fees (fees companies charge producers to deliver music instruments to the
studio at specified times) rehearsal halls, costs of non-studio personnel involved in
arranging the recording sessions, non-studio facilities that might be needed, equipment
dubbing equipment, time involved in dubbing, transportation of various players,
instruments and any other costs and expenses incurred in the production of music that the
producer or producers deem necessary to complete the recording to industry standards of
presentation to the major labels.


here is another link giving you a basic understanding of traditional contract for average artist http://www.emeraldbayrecords.com/rec...contracts.html
post #18 of 42
His next video shows Mariah Carey walking down the street on her iPhone getting hit by a car.

Then her video shows him driving the car, and he's so short he can't see over the steering wheel.

---

Then...

His next video shows her dog holding the lead.

She finally has enough, so her video after that shows him and Dr. Dre getting it on.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 42
re: here is another link giving you a basic understanding of traditional contract for average artist http://www.emeraldbayrecords.com/rec...contracts.html



Here is another page regarding music contracts by musician/independent producer Steve Albini:

http://www.negativland.com/albini.html

If these assertions are half as true as they make them out to be, I guess I'd try to venture out on my own, since it appears that everyone is riding on the coattails of your talent, as long as you're worth exploiting.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

His next video shows Mariah Carey walking down the street on her iPhone getting hit by a car.

Then her video shows him driving the car, and he's so short he can't see over the steering wheel.

Actually his next video features him and Lauren under the sheets playing with their Zunes and talking on their Prees.
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoNomad View Post

I hate these whinny musicians. I have my stuff on iTunes and I think that the deal is very fair. Eminem is just an idiot and they should just pull his crap off iTunes. The iTunes system is the best thing since the corner music store and they shouldn't change a thing.

The deal between iTunes and the label may be fair but the deal between the artist and the label are very often not fair at all.
iTunes (and every other retailer) pays labels, not artists.
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

They do pay for the production costs themselves, it is taken out of the money they get for the sales of the tracks. If you actually look at what the labels pay for it is not that much!

This is interesting :-

http://www.postaudio.co.uk/education...breakdown.html

average net profit margin in business is around 5%. some industries like food is less and others like tech is 10% or a little higher. even at $4 gasoline Exxon was making only around 10% or 12% net profit. artists getting 5% of the price of a CD is not that big a deal

i was way off on my music video costs. i thought i read somewhere it's in the $10,000,000 per video. turns out it's $1,000,000 on average. that's part of the promotion cost including paying the radio stations to play the new hit single

you still have to be naive to believe that artists should take most of the cost of a piece of music as profits. even Apple doesn't mark up their products that high. record companies are also now taking part of the concert profits for artists because it's so expensive to organize a tour that artists need someone else's money to do it.

when a record company sponsors an artist they are in effect giving them a risk free loan for a risky business venture. it's risk free for the artist, but risky for the record company. and even George Lucas hired Fox to distribute his movies
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoNomad View Post

I hate these whinny musicians. I have my stuff on iTunes and I think that the deal is very fair. Eminem is just an idiot and they should just pull his crap off iTunes. The iTunes system is the best thing since the corner music store and they shouldn't change a thing.

And you are a very smart guy - with your iTunes, and all that. I think they should elect you for president (for them) so they don't have to change a thing.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

good luck Mr Mathers

I didn't know "The Beaver" was suing Apple too?! I thought we were talking about that m&m guy who likes himself plain instead of nuts, Bruno's nuts, that is.

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post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

And you are a very smart guy - with your iTunes, and all that. I think they should elect you for president (for them) so they don't have to change a thing.

Judging by that astonishing bit of English literature you just graced the internet with, I'm so glad you are a judge of intelligence.

Also, last I checked I am an artist not a record label and it is fair as it is. Instead of passing judgement on the way Apple conducts business maybe you should learn the facts first.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

i see two issues going on here

1. did Apple have permission to sell the tracks. very likely yes. they would have paperwork between themselves and the controlling company. now if the controlling company didn't have the power to make that deal is a separate issue that Apple can't be held for. not unless you can prove that Apple knew the company didn't have the power and didn't care. but I doubt there is proof of that

2. how much money the artists make. this is not an issue for Apple. this is between artist and holding company.

Yeah, I was thinking exactly the same. He included Apple just to get some attention, just hope it doesn't backfire and have the whole case thrown out for incorrectly including Apple.
post #27 of 42
Surprised anybody would stand up for the labels on this one. They really screw over musicians; you have to go platinum to "break even" by the hollywood accounting. The labels don't "pay" the artist anything; they "advance" them money from future profits. Then they make sure that there are no profits for them to net anything.

It sure smells more like "licensing" than "distributing" on the part of the labels, since they do nothing for each sale and all the work is performed by others. It isn't Apple's problem, it is the labels'.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Surprised anybody would stand up for the labels on this one. They really screw over musicians; you have to go platinum to "break even" by the hollywood accounting. The labels don't "pay" the artist anything; they "advance" them money from future profits. Then they make sure that there are no profits for them to net anything.

It sure smells more like "licensing" than "distributing" on the part of the labels, since they do nothing for each sale and all the work is performed by others. It isn't Apple's problem, it is the labels'.

Agreed. It sounds like Eminem has more of an issue with the contracts he's signed with his label. If they have the power to distribute his work, then he's SOL. Why they keep dragging Apple into it is curious, since Apple is downstream from all of this. If Eminem wants more of the cut, he should re-negotiate his contract with Aftermath Records.
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post #29 of 42
So he's upset that:
  1. His music is for sale in the the largest music store on the planet without his permission. and...
  2. His record company made this deal on his behalf, without consulting him.

Well, 1. Boo hoo Mr. Mathers. 2. That's what record companies do... they sell your music for you!!! What an idiot. How dare your record company you signed an agreement with make you money!!! What is up with that?

Don't like it, negotiate better next time when your contract is up.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoNomad View Post

Judging by that astonishing bit of English literature you just graced the internet with, I'm so glad you are a judge of intelligence.

Also, last I checked I am an artist not a record label and it is fair as it is. Instead of passing judgement on the way Apple conducts business maybe you should learn the facts first.

OK, if you are an artist on iTunes I'll eat humble pie and apologize. Now it don't read so dumb...
It musta been your spelling of whiny that threw me. If you read your post the way I read it you'll see my imagined point, I'm sure. Anyway, my bad...

What passing judgement on the way Apple conducts its business? I didn't and am pretty much up on the facts
post #31 of 42
My favorite line regarding C-Rap "music" is from "The Last Boy Scout" starring Bruce Willis.

Milo, the proverbial bad guy, says: "But just once, I would like to hear you scream in pain... "

Willis says: "Play some rap music".
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

OK, if you are an artist on iTunes I'll eat humble pie and apologize. Now it don't read so dumb...
It musta been your spelling of whiny that threw me. If you read your post the way I read it you'll see my imagined point, I'm sure. Anyway, my bad...

What passing judgement on the way Apple conducts its business? I didn't and am pretty much up on the facts

what are your facts, not being rude, but you have not provided any factual support so far. All I have read are your opinions.
post #33 of 42
So it sounds like his dispute is really around the cut he gets from his label. I'm confused by how suing Apple helps him take a greater control of the profit from distribution. I'm not sure what type of contractual obligations surround Eminem's music (does he have any say in where they are distributed or is that entirely up to his label).

However taking his content of the largest music distributor in the world won't necessarily benefit him.
post #34 of 42
While I agree with the "different strokes for different folks" argument, there are some universal truths out there and one of them is that Eminem sucks. He was amusing for a bit but that time has passed and it's not like his 'music' has staying power. Just drop his a$$.

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post #35 of 42
wow the real slim shady will be suing apple?

for what? for music he's sampled off other people set to some stupid rap lyrics?

let's be real, and I know this might upset kids here, but it's not our problem that we were born in times that great music was being made (hint it's not the past 10-15 years), the real slim shady isn't top 1000 material, let alone top 10.

And let's be completely frank, the guy is crap. He sucks ass, and there's that photo of his face stuck between two ass cheeks to prove that. Actually this guy should be arrested for crimes against music.

He's slime shady, he's the real slim shady, who's slim shady, sue the hottest brand on the globe apple to get some free publicity for your slim to none performances.
post #36 of 42
All I know is that before iTunes a small artisit like me had to pretty much sell his soul to find someone to help pick up the record and then help pay to make the CDs. I never worked with a real record company. When iTunes came out I just put my own music on iTunes for zero money. Now I mix everything down my self in Logic Pro then send it to a buddy to master it for me. What's really cool is that I'll be playing in some no where bar and people will get on their iPhone and buy my album...no CDs no real label just get the music out there and I get a check right away from Apple (very cool). In my opinion Apple has made the music world amazing and has always been fair. Back to my origianl point...it frustrates me when these superstars make an ass of themselves by complaining to the wrong people. Apple takes the same cut from the 20 measily albums I might sell to my relatives as this dumbass who sells millions, just think about that.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

what are your facts, not being rude, but you have not provided any factual support so far. All I have read are your opinions.

What are you talking about? I haven't said anything that require facts. Please tell me what specific factual support you want. And in support of what?
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoNomad View Post

All I know is that before iTunes a small artisit like me had to pretty much sell his soul to find someone to help pick up the record and then help pay to make the CDs. I never worked with a real record company. When iTunes came out I just put my own music on iTunes for zero money. Now I mix everything down my self in Logic Pro then send it to a buddy to master it for me. What's really cool is that I'll be playing in some no where bar and people will get on their iPhone and buy my album...no CDs no real label just get the music out there and I get a check right away from Apple (very cool). In my opinion Apple has made the music world amazing and has always been fair. Back to my origianl point...it frustrates me when these superstars make an ass of themselves by complaining to the wrong people. Apple takes the same cut from the 20 measily albums I might sell to my relatives as this dumbass who sells millions, just think about that.

But if Eminem has the clout to increase the cut people like yourself get, isn't that a good thing? The point being made is that digital distribution through iTunes has changed the business model and as a result the labels are getting more, but the artist is not. I don't think Apple is the direct target here but because of Apple's position in the distribution chain the company is necessarily implicated in the legal process to rectify the unjust status quo (according to Eminem and Eight Mile Style). I am surprised you hate Eminem for doing this. From where I stand he should be applauded for stirring things up. The fact that he doesn't need to do it is neither here nor there.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post

So he's upset that:
  1. His music is for sale in the the largest music store on the planet without his permission. and...
  2. His record company made this deal on his behalf, without consulting him.

Well, 1. Boo hoo Mr. Mathers. 2. That's what record companies do... they sell your music for you!!! What an idiot. How dare your record company you signed an agreement with make you money!!! What is up with that?

Don't like it, negotiate better next time when your contract is up.

f the record comp
let the artist go direct to itunes walmart and target starbucks amazon/

cut everyone out and sell ea song foe 50 cts
whats in a name ? 
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post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

But if Eminem has the clout to increase the cut people like yourself get, isn't that a good thing? The point being made is that digital distribution through iTunes has changed the business model and as a result the labels are getting more, but the artist is not. I don't think Apple is the direct target here but because of Apple's position in the distribution chain the company is necessarily implicated in the legal process to rectify the unjust status quo (according to Eminem and Eight Mile Style). I am surprised you hate Eminem for doing this. From where I stand he should be applauded for stirring things up. The fact that he doesn't need to do it is neither here nor there.

I take it DiscoNomad is acting as his own label in dealing with Apple and gets to keep the money outside of paying back whatever expenses are involved in getting the song mastered. If this is the case the lawsuit would not change his take in anyway. I think artists like Eminem have a point that they should receive a bigger slice of the pie for digital distribution, since the costs to the record company are lower. Something for them and their lawyers to tackle in the next contract they negotiate.
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