The suit alleged the song had been copied
Lawyer calls decision "a major precedent"
You better lose yourself the moment you try to copy an Eminem song.
According to a press release from the High Court of New Zealand, the New Zealand National Party must pay the New Zealand dollars equivalent of almost $413,000 for copyright infringement after it copied the rapper’s hit “Lose Yourself” for an ad.
“Eminem Esque” was featured in Party advertisements and played on television, the internet and at a Party conference in the lead up to the 2014 election.
Detroit based Eight Mile Style, the publishing company which holds the copyright to “Lose Yourself,” filed suit.
The song was written by the rapper (who was born Marshall Mathers III) along with his frequent collaborators Jeffrey Bass and Luis Resto.
The court found there were enough similarities between “Lose Yourself” and “Eminem Esque” to rule in the company’s favor.
“The differences between the two works are minimal; 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,” the release said.
“‘Eminem Esque’ substantially reproduces the essence of ‘Lose Yourself.’ The parts of Eminem Esque used in the National Party’s campaign advertisements also substantially reproduce ‘Lose Yourself.’”
The New Zealand Herald reported that the lawyers acting for the music company told them the court’s decision “is a warning to ‘sound alike’ music producers and their clients everywhere.”
“The ruling clarifies and confirms the rights of artists and songwriters,” Adam Simpson, the lawyer for Eight Mile Style told the publication. “It sets a major precedent in New Zealand and will be influential in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.”