Eminem Battles National Party Over Copyright Infringement of “Lose Yourself”
It was a solemn scene in a New Zealand courtroom when attorney Gary Williams played Eminem's legendary song "Lose Yourself" earlier today (May 1). According to the New Zealand Herald, Eminem's Eight Mile Style LLC is currently suing New Zealand's National Party for using a strikingly similar instrumental for one of their advertisements, and playing the track and dissecting the lyrics was a part of the trial, which is apparently expected to last six days. Watch the amazing footage below.
The ad was originally conceived in 2014 and was meant to support John Key, who was the party leader running to be re-elected at the time. News Hub reports Williams played Em's track from the 8 Mile soundtrack before playing the National Party ad in question. While the National Party has denied using the seminal Slim Shady record, all it takes is one listen to both to see just how musically similar the two tracks are.
"The song 'Lose Yourself,' is without doubt the jewel in the crown of Eminem's musical work," Williams said in his opening statements in the courtroom. "Not only did the song win an Academy Award for best original song in a movie, it also won two Grammy awards." Williams went on to say that when "Lose Yourself" is "licensed, it can command in the millions of dollars. That's how valuable it is."
While the National Party campaign ad doesn't feature Eminem's lyrics, Williams argued the party still used a substantial reproduction of the track. He even referenced emails originally calling the ad's track "Eminem ABBR," which Williams believed to stand for "Eminem Abbreviated." Eventually the song was called "Eminem Esque." Yikes.
The Guardian reports the National Party believed it was legal to use the song and that it's since been used for other advertisements without any issue. You can see video of Em's classic song being played in the courtroom and the campaign ad with a similar sounding instrumental below that.
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