Eminem wins copyright suit against New Zealand political party

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This time, a court has ruled in favour of American musician Eminem, who sued the party for using music similar to his hit track Lose Yourself in a 2014 election campaign television commercial.

The then-Government fought its case in the High Court in May this year, accused of knowingly trying to sidestep licensing fees by using the track Eminem Esque.

In her ruling, Presiding Judge Justice Helen Cull said, "Eminem Esque is strikingly similar to Lose Yourself with minimal discernible differences and objectively, it was created to "sound like" Eminem andLose Yourself..." "We find it incredible that the National party went to such great lengths to avoid responsibility for using a weak rip-off of 'Lose Yourself, '" he said.

"It is no coincidence that Lose Yourself received the 2003 Academy Award for Best Original Song".

Cull stopped short of hitting up the National Party for additional damages, stating that they had acted on professional advice that led to them including the song in the advertisement.

The publisher had exclusive control over the song, and rarely gave permission for its use in advertising, the court said.

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The National party strongly rejected the allegation at the time of the filing and said the backing track came from an Australian-based production outfit.

"The music was licensed with one of New Zealand's main industry copyright bodies, the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society [AMCOS]".

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

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

"Eminem Esque clearly stepped over the line". "Eminem Esque has substantially copied 'Lose Yourself, '" the ruling says.

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. It was calculated and intentional.

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