US rapper Eminem is taking New Zealand’s governing party to court after it apparently used one of his songs in its election ads without his permission.
The rapper claims the song, used in the 2014 advert by the National Party, was an unlicensed version of his hit Lose Yourself.
Lawyers representing the National Party argue it wasn’t actually the original song, but a close variant it bought from a stock music library.
Here’s the offending ad…
And here’s the Eminem original…
Songs which sound similar to famous tracks – but different enough to avoid breaching copyright – often feature in free-to-use commercial music libraries.
The case went to court on Monday and lawyers representing Eminem said Lose Yourself was “iconic” and “without doubt the jewel in the crown of Eminem’s musical work”. They said anyone wanting to use the song for commercial purposes should pay “millions of dollars”.
It’s been reported that there had been copyright concerns when the ad first aired, however, members of the National Party believed the responsibility lay on the maker of the ad and not them. The case continues.