USA rapper Eminem wins copyright case against NZ political party

Eminem Wins Court Case Against New Zealand Political Party Over

Eminem may have lost out on the opportunity to collaborate with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, but the rapper also gets to mark one down in the win column as he's just won a lawsuit with a New Zealand political party.

In 2014, the political party used a track that was highly similar to Eminem's "Lose Yourself".

On Wednesday, in a 132-page decision released by Justice Helen Cull, it was found that the "sound-alike" version used in the ad campaign, "Eminem Esque", was a copy of the original chart-topping song.

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The National Party was ridiculed back in 2014 when the case was first filed and lawmaker Steven Joyce defended using the song, an action he said was "pretty legal". The hearing, which took place in May, even made it to Last Week Tonight, where John Oliver detailed the ridiculousness of a courtroom seriously analyzing the lyrics to "Lose Yourself".

Eminem's track was played during the National Party's 2014 election campaign and titled "Eminem Esque".

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

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National Party President Peter Goodfellow said in a statement he was disappointed with the ruling. In my view, the high licensing value placed on Lose Yourself by Eight Mile Style for their "jewel in the crown' justifies a willing licensor to demand a high fee for its use". Being licensed and available for purchase, and having taken advice from our suppliers, the party believed the purchase was legal. They are considering their next steps and have lodged a claim against the company that supplied them with the song.

Adam Simpson, who acted for Eminem's music company Eight Mile Style and writers Jeff Bass and Luis Resto, said the ruling was a warning to music producers everywhere.

"Eminem Esque clearly stepped over the line". It was found by a New Zealand court to have "substantially copied" his 2002 hit Lose Yourself.

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