The song Lose Yourself from rapper Eminem is causing legal turmoil for a major political party in New Zealand. Eminem’s publishers have sued a political party in New Zealand over the unauthorized use of one of the rappers songs. In an election campaign commercial the National Party, which is the ruling political party in New Zealand, used the song Lose Yourself as part of a television advertisement to promote the party leading up to their elections. The Detroit-based publisher that holds the copyrights on Eminem’s music claims that the campaign used the song without receiving permission.
A case has been filed in the New Zealand High Court by Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, which holds the copyright. In the suit, both companies have made the claim that copyright laws were breached when the National Party used the song as part of their campaign advertisement. A spokesperson for both companies, Joel Martin, issued a statement in regards to the case. In the statement, he expresses disappointment in the political party for disregarding the copyright of the song, especially since the party is said to be a champion for the rights of music publishers in New Zealand.
The National Party is defending against the allegation that it disregarded the copyright. The party states that the song used in its commercial is one that was purchased from the library of Beatbox. In the commercial, the song has no vocals and is not the exact song but uses sounds that resemble the music of Lose Yourself.
While Eminem’s publishers are suing the political party in New Zealand for copyright infringement, the party is no longer using the music as part of its campaign. Two weeks ago when the publishers complained about the use of the song in the advertisement, the National Party discontinued the use of the music. The party added as part of their statement that the discontinuation was not enough to satisfy the complainant. The party says that the music that it used for the advertisement has been used multiple times in both New Zealand and Australia with no complaint or issue.
As part of the National Party’s defense, it says that no other party has been legally targeted for using the music. Now that the issue has become the subject of a lawsuit, the National Party says it will no longer discuss or comment on the case in public. Instead, the party will go before the courts to offer its side of the story and defend its use of the music in the television commercial.
Eminem’s publishers have said that they would never let a political party or campaign use the song Lose Yourself in any way similar to that utilized by the National Party of New Zealand. In fact, the song is rarely authorized for use in any way, and especially not for advertisements. This is not the first time that the two publishers have gone after a company for using the same Eminem song in an advertisement without receiving prior permission. They have also disputed the use of the song by both Apple and Audi.
By Kimberley Spinney