Eminem wins copyright case against New Zealand party
National Party ordered to pay the US rapper €350,000 over election campaign music
A New Zealand political party has been ordered to pay about €350,000 to US rapper Eminem for using music similar to his 2002 hit ‘Lose Yourself’ in a television commercial for a national election. File photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
The track, which was used during the National Party’s successful 2014 election campaign and titled Eminem Esque, was found by a New Zealand court to have “substantially copied” Lose Yourself.
The National Party used the song 186 times during the campaign before taking the ad off the air, the court said.
“This decision is a warning to soundalike music producers and their clients everywhere,” Adam Simpson, director of Simpsons Solicitors, who acted for Eminem’s music company, Eight Mile Style, said in a statement.
The National Party said the track had been licensed with one of New Zealand’s main copyright bodies, the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS).
“Being licensed and available for purchase, and having taken advice from our suppliers, the party believed the purchase was legal,” National Party president Peter Goodfellow said in a statement.
“The party is now considering the implications of the judgment and the next steps. We already have a claim against the suppliers and licensors of the track.”
The court found Eight Mile Style was entitled to damages of NZ$600,000 (about €350,000) with interest from June 28th, 2014.