New Zealand Political Party Ordered To Pay Eminem In Copyright Lawsuit
Eminem's 2002 smash hit "Lose Yourself" earned the Detroit rapper five GRAMMY nominations and two wins at the 46th GRAMMY Awards on its way to becoming one of the most recognizable songs in his catalog.
Flash forward to 2014 when New Zealand's conservative National Party used a stock music soundalike called "Eminem Esque" in a campaign ad. The signature staccato guitar line and backbeat of "Lose Yourself" is unmistakable in the remake.
Now, a judge has ruled that the National Party breached copyright with the use, ordering them to pay Eminem what amounts to $415,000 in U.S. currency.
The National Party claim they licensed the song from an Australian music library, who say they bought the song from an American company, according to Consequence of Sound. The judge's ruling comes after Eminem's publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed a lawsuit.
"We hope that we see more original music in advertising as a result," says Adam Simpson, a lawyer representing Eight Mile Style, "And that writers get properly acknowledged and rewarded for their hard work."
While soundalike stock music remains a very common practice in the sync licensing world, the case of "Lose Yourself" is the latest real-world example in the discussion of where to draw the line between inspiration and infringement.