US-based music publishers for Eminem are suing New Zealand’s conservative National Party for alleged copyright infringement of the rapper’s 2002 acclaimed “Lose Yourself” used as the party’s successful soundtrack for a 2014 election campaign TV advert (entitled “Eminem Esque”) that was run 186 times before being pulled off the air.
Internal conservative National Party emails given in evidence seemed to indicate similarities between the TV advert and Eminem quoted as a “sound-alike” and being called “Eminem Esque” seemed to indicate that the party was clear it was using a copyrighted song. The conservative National Party however said it purchased the track through an Australian-based supplier and doesn’t believe it has infringed copyright.
Eminem’s music publishers revealed they would never have permitted the use of the song in any political advertisement irrespective of the political party concerned. The music publishers are seeking both a cash settlement and an acknowledgement from the court that the National Party breached copyright.
The case (originally filed in 2014) was recently heard by a judge in a judge-only trial and her decision is expected in 3 months time.