Huffington Post covers Rick James case in major article on digital download royalties

July 7, 2011 -- The Huffington Post recently reported on the ongoing controversy over the major record labels' accounting practices for income they receive from their dealings with download music providers like Apple/iTunes. In an article entitled "Detroit Shakes Up the Music Industry," writer Jason Schmitt predicted an "avalanche" of potentially "billions of dollars" in claims against the major labels on this subject following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to let stand the opinion of a federal appellate court in F.B.T. Productions v. Aftermath Records, 621 F.3d 958 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010). That case established the right of recording artists, music producers and other royalty participants of legacy music catalog to receive up to half (instead of a much reduced "record" royalty) of the income Universal Music Group and its affiliated record labels receive from their licenses with download music providers. Schmitt identified PE&G's recently-filed Rick James case as an example of the "larger-scale implications" for the music industry (and in particular, Universal Music Group) of the F.B.T. case. The firm is now representing several well-known recording artists in a class action against Universal Music over its policies and practices in accounting for the digital download income it receives on its recorded music catalog. As of the time of this writing, the case is in its initial stages; discovery into these policies and practices is expected to begin soon.