News December 19, 2018

NZ National Party successfully appeals Eminem copyright damages

NZ National Party successfully appeals Eminem copyright damages

New Zealand’s National Party has had a win in the Court of Appeal over its legal stoush over an ‘s ‘Lose Yourself’.

The former sum of NZ$375,000 has been slashed to $225,000 in what it must pay the Detroit rapper’s publishers for using a soundalike of his ‘Lose Yourself’ for the 2014 election ad.

The Nationals claimed it had in good faith licensed the track called ‘Eminem Esque’ for $4802 from an Australian production company which had sourced it from a Los Angeles based music library.

The party also argued that it was looking for a “syncopated beat” to accompany the video’s footage of rowers, not try to copy ‘Lose Yourself’.

The High Court found last year that nevertheless the two tracks were similar enough, and hit the Nationals with copyright infringement damages of $600,000.

The Court of Appeal found that the damages bill calculated by the High Court was excessive from the start because Eminem’s publishers – Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated  — stressed they would never have used his track for political purposes.

In fact, the publishers had initially asked for the $600,000 figure to be increased.

But it was rejected by the High Court.

The Court of Appeal yesterday found that political use warranted a higher fee but not if the copyright holder had not personally endorsed the ad.

The National Party previously said it would claim the damages money from the companies which supplied the track to them.

Eminem, who was not involved in the court action by the two publishers, is set to perform in Wellington in March 2019.

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