Eminem’s management and their legal team are taking on Apple, in
what may be the first battle of many against Apple.
The problem isn't actually between Eminem and Apple, but rather Eminem and his label. Stopping music sales on iTunes is the first step in changing the way record labels award royalties for songs sold on iTunes.
The issue at hand is whether or not contracts
between artists and labels allow the labels to authorize online sales of songs.
“The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit is the latest move by Eminem's music publishers to aggressively protect the rights to his music.
A top California entertainment lawyer, Owen Sloane of Berger Kahn, said the Eminem lawsuit is likely a sign of more to come in the music industry as artists and those with the rights to their compositions fight for a bigger share of revenues from the burgeoning music download industry.”
The real problem is that the labels spend more money to ship a CD than they do to participate in 3rd party digital distribution methods such as iTunes. So what happens to the money that used to be allocated for CD production and distribution?
Of course some of it is passed on as savings to the consumers, but not all of it. Should the labels get the remaining difference because they made a wise business decision, or should they find some way to split it with the artist(s)? It’s a tough decision, and it seems to be the true heart of this new case.