Eminem earns $400k in copyright lawsuit against New Zealand political party

The National Party used the song "Eminem Esque" 186 times during its successful 2014 election campaign before pulling the ad off the air.

Well, that all happened back in 2014, and it was heard in court in May. She ruled that the National Party track "substantially" copied "Lose Yourself". That is, quite frankly, quite a lot of money.

"The close similarities and the indiscernible differences in drum beat, the "melodic line" and the piano figures, make Eminem Esque strikingly similar to Lose Yourself", Justice Helen Cull wrote in her judgement.

The High Court has awarded $600,000 to Eight Mile Style which published the song, the fee being the "hypothetical licence fee" since 2014 if they had been given permission to use the song for their advertising. It copied the essential elements that made Lose Yourselfa global hit.

Attorney Garry Williams, representing Eminem, noted that the rapper rarely licensed the song and that it is a "jewel in the crown of Eminem's catalogue".


Goodfellow said National "purchased the piece of production music from a reputable Australian-based music production library, who had purchased it from a U.S. supplier". It was calculated and intentional. "The National Party was also a very willing licensee, because they specifically wanted the Lose Yourself sound". He said they found out that National's advertisement was originally set to use "Lose Yourself" before settling on "Eminem Esque". Being licensed and available for purchase, and having taken advice from our suppliers, the party believed the purchase was legal.

Simpsons Solicitors director, Adam Simpson said it's a cautionary tale, that might serve as inspiration to invest in new music.

"The party is now considering the implications of the judgment and the next steps".

He claimed the party was considering its next actions and had already lodged an insurance claim against the distributors as well as licensors of the sound-alike track.

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