Culture

You own it: New Zealand party told to pay for Eminem rip-off

But Eight Mile's lawyer Gary Williams said the National Party infringed copyright by using the song, or a substantial reproduction of it.

The court ruled that Eight Mile Style was entitled to damages of $600,000 with interest from 28 June 2014.

According to the NZ Herald, the party coughed up $4,800 for the music from licensed music company Beatbox and in court argued it had done so in good faith.

The court said in a statement that "between 20 to 30 August 2014, the advertisements, with Eminem Esque synchronised to them, were played 186 times on New Zealand television".

Eminem's publishers argued the music was a rip-off of the rapper's acclaimed Grammy and Academy Award-winning song "Lose Yourself" from the soundtrack of the 2002 movie "8 Mile". She said it was no coincidence the composer of "Eminem Esque" had the music to "Lose Yourself" in front of him when he wrote his song. "I find that Lose Yourself is a highly original work".

Cull stopped short of awarding additional damages, saying the party had only used the song after receiving professional advice that it could do so, and hadn't acted recklessly.

"We purchased the piece of production music from a reputable Australian-based music production library, who had purchased it from a USA supplier", said National Party President Peter Goodfellow.

"We already have a claim against the suppliers and licensors of the track".

The case was filed in 2014, and the court heard the songs and arguments in May.

United States comedian John Oliver mocked the proceedings as the court case rolled on, especially Steven Joyce's comments that that party thought the use of the music was "pretty legal".



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