After a brief in-court skirmish, Apple and Eminem’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style, have settled a lawsuit over the digital downloading rights to the rapper’s songs.

Eight Mile Style attorney Richard Busch said Friday that the deal was reached late Thursday. He declined to disclose details of the settlement.

The music publisher had claimed that a previous distribution deal with Aftermath Records covering 93 Eminem songs had not extended the label the rights to sell those tracks through iTunes. Apple, as retailer, was subject to the same lawsuit. The music publisher was chasing millions in compensation.

The case reached court yesterday, reports from which indicated a tense courtroom discussion between the parties.

As reported by The Detroit News, the trial grew heated as Eight Mile Style’s legal team posed an aggressive cross-examination of a music company executive over whether Interscope Records impring Aftermath ever had the rights to sell the hip-hop artist’s songs over the Internet.

The case hinged on a difference in wording included within the existing deal for record distribution. Eight Mile Style pointed out that the deal the record label claimed allowed it to sell Eminem’s music digitally only said copyright “will be licensed” to the label. It did not indicate a deal had been agreed.

While Aftermath put up a fight against the argument, it seems pretty clear the label (and Apple) were left with little choice but to reach an out of court deal in the case, which could have wider significance in cases were other labels have made music available through iTunes without securing a watertight digital distribution deal.
 

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