Eminem to Receive $415000 From New Zealand Political Party for Copyright Violation

by Leslie Wood October 26, 2017, 0:44
Eminem to Receive $415000 From New Zealand Political Party for Copyright Violation

Lose yourself and win a lawsuit.

The High Court of New Zealand today found the National Party of New Zealand ripped-off Eminem's hit song Lose Yourself in its 2014 election advertising campaign and ordered significant damages. Indeed, the song, which was the centerpiece of "Eight Mile", Eminem's semi-autobiographical acting debut, won both an Oscar and a Grammy and was the rapper's longest-reigning chart hit to date, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks beginning in November 2002.

The American rapper filed suit against the National in September 2014 for using a version of his song in its election campaign.

The judges found that "Eminem Esque" was more than just a coincidental suffix; the composer of the track was said to have Eminem's song in front of him while penning it.

The case could have implications for other organizations that use so-called "sound-alike" tracks sold by commercial operators.

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'The music was licensed with one of New Zealand's main industry copyright bodies, the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society [AMCOS]', said National Party president Peter Goodfellow. "The National Party was also a very willing licensee, because they specifically wanted the Lose Yourself sound".

It was a two week trial that went back and forth incessantly, with the party's defence even trying to claim that "Lose Yourself" was not entirely original by pointing out similarities with other songs.

Cull said that meant the National Party committed three breaches of copyright, by communicating a copy of Lose Yourself to the public without a licence, by authorising the copying, and authorising the use of the advertisements. Being licensed and available for purchase, and having taken advice from our suppliers, the party believed the purchase was legal.

"This decision is a warning to "sound alike" music producers and their clients everywhere", Mr Adam Simpson said.

"Eminem Esque clearly stepped over the line". It was calculated and intentional.


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