Eminem success in New Zealand over copycat political song
Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 25 October 2017« Return to Reading Room
Global superstar rapper, Eminem, has succeeded in his copyright claim against The New Zealand National Party who used a copycat song in their campaign.
The National Party are a political party in New Zealand, and in a bid to draw in support added a musical element to their election advert.
However, it seems this bright idea has got them into some hot water. It wasn’t the advert that saw them in trouble but the song itself.
They had used a song entitled ‘Eminem-esque’ and bore similarities in regards to both the melody and rhythm to Eminem’s hit ‘Lose Yourself’.
‘Lose Yourself’ appeared in Eminem’s film 8 mile in 2002 and won an Oscar for being the best orginal song in 2003.
The track appeared in the National Party’s advert more than 100 times in 2014. They claim that the song was not a copy of Eminem’s track and have been acquired through a music library made by production music company Beatbox.
Eminem’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style issued the proceedings and argued that the two songs were substantially similar in key elements and therefore, the National Party had breached Eminem’s copyright protection.
The court sided with Eight Mile Style and ruled that the track was ‘sufficiently similar’ to Lose Yourself which was a highly original work and therefore had infringed Eminem’s copyright protection.
The National Party’s bid for votes turned out to be a costly affair as the court ordered them to pay NZ$600,00 in damages which equates to $412,000.
Sound alike songs have been a hot topic of late and it seems there will be more and more coming out of the woodwork, challenging the parameters of copyright law.
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