(CN) – Eminem’s record label lost its bid for the 9th Circuit to reconsider a ruling that producers affiliated with the rapper are entitled to higher royalties on songs and albums downloaded from Apple’s iTunes store.
The federal appeals court rejected a petition filed by Universal Music Group’s Aftermath Records, seeking a rehearing of the court’s Sept. 3 ruling for Em2M LLC and FBT Productions.
FBT had signed Marshall Mathers III, professionally known as Eminem, in 1995 and transferred its exclusive rights to his recordings to Aftermath in 1998.
The transfer agreement gave FBT royalties of 12 to 20 percent on the adjusted retail price of all full records sold, and 50 percent on licensed master recordings.
The producers claimed that Aftermath cheated it out of millions of dollars in royalties by treating downloaded music as “records sold” instead of licensed music.
A jury sided with the record label, however, and a federal judge awarded Aftermath $2.4 million in attorney fees.
A 9th Circuit panel reversed that award in September, concluding that Em2M and FBT are entitled to the higher 50 percent royalty rate on downloaded music.
The court has declined to rehear the case.
The ruling could benefit older artists who have been getting a fraction of download income based on contracts they entered long before current technology.