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May 11, 2011

Time: 6:30-8:00pm

An Evening with Richard S. Busch, Lead Counsel in Eminem v. UMG

AIMP presents an exclusive in-depth look inside the landmark Eminem v. UMG case with lead counsel for the plaintiff, Richard S. Busch of Nashville firm King & Ballow.

In his first public presentation on the West Coast, Mr. Busch will discuss firsthand details of the case, including the potential royalties for Eminem-affiliated F.B.T. productions, as well as potential royalties owed many other artists.

F.B.T. Productions, who discovered, produced, and co-wrote some of Eminem’s biggest hits, prevailed in the multi-million dollar lawsuit which argued that record companies’ arrangements with digital retailers resemble a license more than a traditional record sale. While Universal and others maintain that this ruling sets no legal precedent as it only concerns the language of one specific recording agreement, many believe it will lead to more pay for thousands of older artists who have not released an album in decades.

Mr. Busch will discuss the U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit’s interpretation of the record contract, the right of artists to 50 percent of the label’s receipt of digital download royalties, what this judgment means practically for artists, and other unresolved issues for the digital age that affect artists and the music industry at large. 

Olympic Collection - Versailles Room

6:15pm Doors open
6:30-7:00pm Cocktail reception with light hors d’oeuvres
7:00-8:00pm Presentation and Q&A

MCLE Credits: 1 (see below)


Richard S. Busch



AIMP Special Event

Place: View Map
Olympic Collection Conference Center
11301 Olympic Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90064

Parking: Self-parking on site $7.  There is limited street parking nearby. 

Reservations are required for this event. Reserve online at www.aimp.org or by telephone at 818-771-7301 until Tuesday, May 10th at 2:00 p.m. Online reservations can be paid online by credit card; however, credit cards are not accepted at the door. Payment at the door is by cash or check only. 

Attention attorneys: This activity has been approved for one hour of Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California. Attorneys wishing to register for MCLE credit should bring their state bar number with them for the sign in sheet.
Attention CPA’s: This activity follows the continuing education guidelines specified in the California Board of Accountancy Regulations. CPA’s wishing to register for one CE credit should bring their CPA license number with them for the sign in sheet. [Pick up your certificate at the luncheon – AIMP cannot issue certificates after-the-fact.]

Additional Speaker Information

Richard S. Busch is a partner in the litigation section of King & Ballow, and has represented the prevailing party in many of the most high profile music cases of the last five years. In the action styled F.B.T. Productions, LLC v. Aftermath Records, et al., Mr. Busch represented the plaintiff in the landmark case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit entered judgment in favor of F.B.T., finding that the agreements between record label Universal and digital download providers like iTunes, are licenses, and Eminem’s recording agreement entitles him and F.B.T. to 50% of Universal’s net receipts for sales by iTunes and others of Eminem songs. The full decision may be found at 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 18450 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010). On Monday, March 21, 2011, The United States Supreme Court entered an Order refusing to hear Universal’s appeal of that decision.

Mr. Busch represented Bridgeport Music, Inc., and Westbound Records, Inc., in a copyright infringement action against Bad Boy Records, the record label owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Universal Music in a trial that resulted in a $4.4 million jury award in favor of Bridgeport and Westbound, including a finding of willful copyright infringement against the defendants, all arising from the "sampling" of Bridgeport and Westbound's music in the Notorious B.I.G. song Ready To Die. This is one of the few cases where a punitive damage award was entered in a copyright infringement action.

Mr. Busch also represented Bridgeport in a copyright infringement trial against Universal Music involving the unlawful copying of portions of the Bridgeport's song Atomic Dog. The jury returned a finding of willful copyright infringement against the defendants in that action as well. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit later affirmed the decision, finding that copyright infringement may occur by the copying of a single common word such as "Dog," if the alleged infringer uses that word in the new composition in the same way as it was used in the original musical composition. The Sixth Circuit also found that Universal committed willful copyright infringement when it copied the signature phrase from Atomic Dog without permission, rejecting Universal's Fair Use, and De Minimis defenses. The full decision may be found at Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. UMG Recordings, Inc., 585 F.3d 267 (6th Cir. 2009). Billboard Magazine identified this decision as one of the five most important judicial decisions of 2009, and noted that it will change the way the music industry operates.

Mr. Busch was also lead counsel in the action entitled Bridgeport Music, Inc., et al. v. Dimension Films, et. al., 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 18810; 2004 FED App. 0297P (6th Cir.), where he successfully argued and obtained the landmark ruling by the United States Court of Appeals that there is no de minimis defense in a copyright infringement action to sampling or copying of a sound recording.

King & Ballow was formed in 1969 in Nashville, Tennessee by Frank S. King , Jr., and Robert L. Ballow. In the over four decades since, King & Ballow has expanded its practice nationally and is currently recognized as one of the nation’s foremost law firms in the fields of media and labor law, as well as becoming one of the largest law firms in Nashville. Its roster of clients has included communications (BellSouth Mobility), transportation (American Airlines, Roadway Express, Star Transportation), entertainment (Gaylord Entertainment, the Oak Ridge Boys, MCA Music, SESAC), publishing and print (Thomas Nelson, Inc., American Color), construction (CFW Construction Company), distribution (Ingram Industries), retailing (Dollar General), manufacturing (Link Electric & Safety Control Company), major media companies such as Tribune Company, Capital Cities/ABC, Knight-Ridder, Inc., MediaNews Group, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Denver Post, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Tulsa World, The Gillette Group, and Post-Newsweek, and many more. King & Ballow is also counsel to trade associations, including the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.

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