26 Oct 2017

Music rights specialist backs National over 'Eminem Esque'

8:21 am on 26 October 2017

The National Party - which has been ordered to pay damages of $600,000 for breaching music copyright - is being ripped off, a music rights specialist says.

Eminem has won a copyright case against the National Party

Eminem has won a copyright case against the National Party Photo: AFP

A High Court judgement yesterday ruled music used in the party's 2014 election campaign advertisement closely copied the song 'Lose Yourself' by the US rapper Eminem.

His production company Eight Mile Style sued the party for breaching copyright, and the judgement yesterday ordered the party to pay $600,000 with interest dating from 28 June 2014.

Read the full judgement here

Former Australasian Performing Rights Association director Mike Chunn said the track was part of a legitimate music library.

"Every day radio stations, television channels, people making TV ads use production music. And 'Eminem Esque' was one track on that shelf."

Mr Chunn thought it unlikely legal action would have been taken if the track had been used in any other ad.

However Adam Simpson of Simpsons Solicitors, who acted for Eight Mile Style, said the decision was "a warning to sound-alike music producers and their clients everywhere".

National Party President Peter Goodfellow said that having taken advice from our suppliers, the party believed the purchase was legal.

"The party is now considering the implications of the judgment and the next steps. We already have a claim against the suppliers and licensors of the track."

- RNZ / Reuters

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