Nationals in court with Eminem over campaign song copyright

by NZ Lawyer11 Mar 2016
Lawyers for Eminem and the NZ National Party were in court this week over an alleged copyright breach during the 2014 election, an allegation National has denied.

Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly using his track Lose Yourself in its election campaign ads without permission, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Party said it bought the track from an Australian music distributor Labrador.

National Party is seeking to have the dispute heard in two trials: the first to establish liability and, if Eminem wins, a second to determine damages.

On Wednesday, lawyer Greg Arthur representing National Party told the High Court in Wellington that he estimated the first trial could last two weeks.

But Eminem’s lawyers for company Eight Mile Style have said that having two trials would go against the importance of having finality of litigation at trial, according to The Herald.

“It doesn't involve complex calculation, it just involves an assessment of the relevant evidence,” lawyer Garry Williams said.

Justice Brendan Brown didn’t make a decision on proceedings in court this week, instead giving the two parties to March 23 to come up with a better resolution.

Campaign manager Steven Joyce told reporters he thought the song was ‘pretty legal’.

Eminem launched legal action against Apple back in 2004 for using one of his songs in a television commercial without his permission.