Eminem Takes New Zealand Political Party to Court over "Lose Yourself" Ripoff
Their palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy / There's vomit on their sweaters already, Mom's spaghetti
Published May 01, 2017Eminem's massive 8 Mile hit "Lose Yourself" could be heard blaring from speakers in an unlikely setting earlier today (May 1) — a New Zealand courtroom.
The rapper's song is under examination at the core of a copyright trial, in which Eminem's music publishers claim that New Zealand's conservative National Party ripped off "Lose Yourself" for a 2014 campaign ad.
The song that appeared in the commercial was purchased through an Australian-based supplier, and despite the track bearing the title "Eminem Esque," the defendants maintain that they haven't infringed on anyone's copyright.
Lawyer Garry Williams, on behalf of Em's publishing company Eight Mile Style, and Martin Affiliated presented the court with National Party emails containing conversations about the music used in the marketing campaign. Members apparently wanted something that sounded "edgy" and "modern," and found that "Eminem Esque" tested better in focus groups than classical music.
One National Party agent is quoted in an email as saying, "I guess the question we're asking, if everyone thinks it's Eminem, and it's listed as Eminem Esque, how can we be confident that Eminem doesn't say we're ripping him off?"
As it turns out, that's exactly what Eminem's people are saying. Joel Martin, a spokesperson for Eminem's music publishers, maintains that the political views of the party on trial have nothing to do with the court case.
"The bottom line is we would never have permitted the use of the song in any political advertisement," he said.
The judge-only trial is expected to wrap up within about a week.
The continuing legal battle should probably serve as a warning to any political climbers considering using Eminem's 2016 single "Campaign Speech" in any upcoming ads.