The Detroit MC filed proceedings against The National Party in 2014 after they allegedly used an unlicensed version of his 2002 hit
Eminem‘s ‘Lose Yourself’ has been played to a New Zealand courtroom as part of the rapper’s ongoing lawsuit against the country’s National Party.
The Detroit rapper filed the suit in 2014 after the National Party released a campaign video for then-leader John Key’s re-election as prime minister – which featured a strikingly-similar version of his 2002 hit – citing an infringement of copyright. Watch the video in question below.
The National Party “vigorously” defended the use of the track (entitled ‘Eminem Esque’), which they say they obtained from the Australian production music library Beatbox Music. The Party alleged that other parties had used the track without complaint.
The suit made it to court earlier today (May 1), where ‘Lose Yourself’ was played to the Judge-only hearing. AP reported that, during the playback of the track, the judge and nine lawyers listened “politely”.
While Eminem is not expected to make an appearance at the case, his legal representative Garry Williams said Eminem’s “iconic musical composition” was rarely licensed and rights to it were “enormously valuable.” (via The New Zealand Herald)
“Lose Yourself is a jewel in the crown of Eminem’s catalogue,” Williams told the judge. “[‘Lose Yourself’ represents] the idea of losing yourself in the moment and not missing opportunities in life… That’s why the song appeals to both the public and those who wish to influence the public by using it in advertising.”
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It is not clear at this stage what damages Eminem is seeking. Joel Martin, a spokesman for Eminem’s publishers, told reporters outside court that he was surprised the rapper and the National Party hadn’t already settled on an agreement.
“The bottom line is we would never have permitted the use of the song in any political advertisement,” Martin said. “We are Americans and we don’t know about politics in New Zealand.”
Eminem will return to the UK this summer for a number of live dates, including headline sets at Reading and Leeds Festivals and Glasgow’s Summer Sessions.