If you recorded music before 1992, chances are your royalty agreement with your record label indicates when songs are sold digitally, you get paid a licensing fee -- traditionally 50 percent of the royalties. If you're a newer artist, the record company likely pays you for a sale -- more like 10 to 15 percent.
Why does this matter? Because producers who are still making money off Eminem's early works sued Universal Music Group a few years ago in an attempt to pick up some more cash. Part of their argument was about the nature of digital music -- that since there's no physical production involved in duplicating a digital track, it's more like a license than a sale. And as the New York Times writes in an expertly reported new story, the courts seem to agree. The Supreme Court is letting a lower court's ruling stand that indicates digital music should be considered a license.
As the Times notes, most artists recording right now have had their contracts renegotiated in the past few yearsRead More »from Royalty Lawsuit Turns Eminem Into Robin Hood