Eminem’s Publisher Triumphs in New Zealand Copyright Battle

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Eminem performing at a music festival in 2012. A political party in New Zealand has been fined for using a sound-alike to his 2002 hit “Lose Yourself.” Credit Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

A political party in New Zealand must pay Eminem’s music publisher $413,000 (600,000 New Zealand dollars) for infringing on the copyright of his hit song “Lose Yourself,” a court in Wellington ruled.

The National Party of New Zealand had been sued in 2014 by the publisher, Eight Mile Style, over a song featured in one of its campaign ads that echoed the rapper’s Grammy and Oscar-winning 2002 smash.

The name of the song? “Eminem Esque.”

National Party 2014 Election Ad Video by Political Animal

A representative for Eminem said that the artist was not himself a party to the lawsuit and has no comment.

The case had received international attention this year, spawning a viral video of stone-faced lawyers silently listening to “Lose Yourself” in court, and serving as fodder for John Oliver’s satirical news show “Last Week Tonight.”

In court, a lawyer for the National Party argued that “Eminem Esque” didn’t substantially copy “Lose Yourself,” and that the latter was itself derivative of other earlier works. Under New Zealand law, copyright infringement claims are valid only if the infringing song bears “sufficient objective similarity” to original components of the work alleged to have been copied.

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