Eminem Wins Case: NZ National Party Ordered To Pay $412,000 For ‘Lose Yourself’ Copyright Infringement

Eminem has won his lawsuit for the copyright case filed against New Zealand National Party. The American rapper’s music publisher claimed that the song, “Lose Yourself,” was plagiarized and used in the campaign ad without their permission.

BBC reported that the NZ political party was found guilty of copyright infringement. They were ordered to pay NZ$600,000 or US$412,000 in compensation for damages.

Eminem’s case started in May when Eight Mile Style, his music publisher, filed a suit after learning that his track bore a strong resemblance to the National Party’s music that was used in the election advertisements. They claim that the melody and rhythm of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” are very similar to the political party’s music.

Further, Eight Mile Style stated that the accused made use of an unlicensed version of the rapper’s Oscar-winning piece in 2014 campaign ads. During the election period, the party used the song called “Eminem-esque,” and the New Zealand party’s lawyer argued that this was not “Lose Yourself” but just some kind of sound-alike.

The lawyer added that the party purchased this track from a stock music library, so they did not plagiarize the track. However, according to the court ruling, the song sounds very much like the original track of the rapper. Thus, in the end, the court found that the party indeed violated the copyright infringement laws.

On Oct. 25, the High Court awarded damage to Eminem’s publisher. In addition to the compensation, the NZ National Party will also have to pay interest from June 28, 2014, NZ Herald reported.

Moreover, in the 132-page decision revealed by Justice Helen Cull, the Wellington High Court judge strongly pinpointed that “Eminem-Esque” substantially copied “Lose Yourself.” She said the similarities were overwhelming, and it cannot be denied that it was copied.

“The track used in the political ad campaign was designed to sound like Eminem and ‘Lose Yourself,'” the judge stated.

Incidentally, although the awarded amount for compensation seems to be a lot of money, legal experts in the U.S. said that based on their own country’s standards, this is actually low. They believed that damages should range from US$1M or NZ$1.4M and up.

Finally, it was learned that Eminem was not directly involved in the case. Rather, it was two US-based companies that sued the National Party and its manager, Greg Hamilton. The music publishers controlled the copyright of the song, so they were the ones that will claim the damages.

[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]