Eminem may have been a key figure in the recent landmark case on profit sharing for digital music, but the rapper may not get a pay day from the big win. Though a court ruled that Universal Music Group likely owes Em's old production company FBT Productions tens of millions of dollars in damages, Em didn't formally take part in the lawsuit, meaning he’s not obligated to get a piece of the judgment.
Speaking to Forbes, FBT's manager Joel Martin had this to say: “He wouldn’t get a percentage of those damages. He’d have to go to court or negotiate with the record company.”
FBT, which is comprised of Eminem's longtime production partners Mark and Jeff Bass, won its precedent-setting lawsuit against Universal by arguing that sales of digital copies of music should be treated as licenses, meaning a 50 percent royalty for artists as opposed to a traditional 12 percent sales royalty. Now untold millions in back-pay could be on the line for all popular musicians, not just Eminem.
Though he declined to take a role in the litigation against his own record company, Em could still get a major pay day if he opts to initiate his own case based on the new precedent. The estate of R&B legend Rick James has followed suit with a claim against Universal that is still pending.