Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Eminem Wins Music Copyright Fight in New Zealand

Written by Reggie Ugwu — A political party in New Zealand must pay Eminem's music publisher $413,000 (600,000 New Zealand dollars) for infringing on the copyright of his hit song "Lose Yourself," a court in Wellington ruled.

The National Party of New Zealand had been sued in 2014 by the publisher, Eight Mile Style, over a song featured in one of its campaign ads that echoed the rapper's Grammy and Oscar-winning 2002 smash.

The name of the song? "Eminem Esque."

A representative for Eminem said that the artist was not himself a party to the lawsuit and has no comment.

The case had received international attention this year, spawning a viral video of stone-faced lawyers silently listening to "Lose Yourself" in court, and serving as fodder for John Oliver's satirical news show "Last Week Tonight."

In court, a lawyer for the National Party argued that "Eminem Esque" didn't substantially copy "Lose Yourself," and that the latter was itself derivative of other earlier works. Under New Zealand law, copyright infringement claims are valid only if the infringing song bears "sufficient objective similarity" to original components of the work alleged to have been copied.

Justice Helen Cull said that standard had indeed been met. "‘Eminem Esque' is strikingly similar to ‘Lose Yourself' with minimal discernible differences," she wrote in a lengthy judgment.

The National Party obtained "Eminem Esque" through a company that licenses stock music for use in television and films, part of a lucrative but below-the-radar cottage industry in the music business. In 2012, in the United States, both Pizza Hut and Home Depot were sued by The Black Keys for using songs in their advertisements that the rock group said infringed on its copyrights.

In a statement, a lawyer for Eight Mile Style said that the judge's ruling would set a new precedent in New Zealand and should serve as "a warning to soundalike music producers and their clients everywhere."

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Here's the video where "Eminem Esque" is used/heard.