Back in 2014, Eminem filed a lawsuit against New Zealand’s National Party for unauthorized use of his popular song “Lose Yourself” in a campaign ad. Today, the trial began.
The ad, above, features a song which apparently is not Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” but is called Eminem-esque, and according to The BBC, the defendant says the track was found in a stock library and was purchased there.
“It is both disappointing and sadly ironic that the political party responsible for championing the rights of music publishers in New Zealand by the introduction of the three strikes copyright reforms should itself have so little regard for copyright,” said Eminem’s lawyers when the suit was filed, Rolling Stone reported.
“The song ‘Lose Yourself,’ is without doubt the jewel in the crown of Eminem’s musical work. Not only did the song win an Academy Award for Best Original Song in a movie, it also won two Grammy Awards,” Eminem lawyer Gary Williams told the courts in his opening statement, the New Zealand Herald reported.
He reportedly added that, “In short, ‘Lose Yourself’ is an extremely valuable song. The licensing of the song has been extremely carefully controlled. Despite many requests, it has only rarely been licensed for advertising purposes. When licensed, it can command in the millions of dollars. That’s how valuable it is.”
Greg Arthur, lawyer for the National Party said, “What makes Lose Yourself original is not mirrored in Eminem-Esque.”
He also argued that had the song not been called “Eminem-Esque,” none of this would be an issue, saying “Copyright is not in any way proven by the name given to a piece of music.”
According to one New Zealand Herald journalist, “Lose Yourself” was played in court to a roomful of lawyers, and everyone was listening intently, which is, an interesting image to say the least:
A first: sitting in the High Court, Eminem playing, as unsmiling lawyers and High Court Justice listen intently.
— Frances Cook (@FrancesCook) April 30, 2017
[image via JStone/Shutterstock.com]