In an ongoing lawsuit, Apple claims a deposition of Steve Jobs from a 2010 trial involving F.B.T. Productions, producers of Eminem tracks, could, if released, bring competitive harm to the company over “highly confidential and proprietary trade secrets,” reports “TechCrunch” (http://macte.ch/a7C5C).
The lawsuit was filed in a Los Angeles court over three years ago by the rapper’s production company F.B.T. The issue: whether musicians should be entitled to a larger share of digital download revenues given that much of the overhead in promoting and distributing songs online falls on service providers like Apple, not the labels.
F.B.T. claims that UMI owes Eminem more money for the music it sells via third-party distributors like iTunes or phone companies who offer musical ringtones. The production company argued that all UMG is providing to the online retailer is a digital file — with no costs incurred from things like jewel cases, liner notes, sales teams or in-store displays. Universal executives, argue that regardless of whether music is in a digital or physical format, it’s still a product that they own.
According to “The Hollywood Reporter” (https://secure.hollywoodreporter.com), when Jobs was being deposed in 2010 the judge sent nearly everyone out of the court room and again when the deposition was played back to the jury. The dispute stems from the plaintiff’s inability to prove to Apple why the requested documents — which includes information on Apple’s business dealings with record labels — are relevant to their case against UMG. Apple goes even further and blames the musician’s attorney’s for seeking documents that are “broad but indiscriminate,” notes “TechCrunch.”