High Court finds National Party guilty of copyright breach

Diamond-studded Jeff Bass one of the composers of the Oscar-winning Eminem song Lose Yourself leaving court with his

The rapper filed suit against the party in September 2014 for its use of the song, which was created by a production house and is actually titled "Eminem Esque".

According to emails from the political party, they were well aware that the song they wrote was far too close to Em's hit 8 Mile single.

The court held that the National Party used the song 186 times during the campaign before taking the advert off the air.

In her ruling, Presiding Judge Justice Helen Cull said, "Eminem Esque is strikingly similar to Lose Yourself with minimal discernible differences and objectively, it was created to "sound like" Eminem andLose Yourself..."

"However, the High Court found that before using the track, the Party took extensive advice and sought assurances from industry professionals that the track could be used by the Party".

The judge based the amount of the award on a hypothetical licence fee that the party might have paid to use the song - although Eight Mile Style rarely grants permission to use Lose Yourself in advertising. The National Party maintained the song was inspired by "Lose Yourself", but different in composition.

The National party strongly rejected the allegation at the time of the filing and said the backing track came from an Australian-based production outfit.

"Sound alike" tracks are often used in advertising to be reminiscent of well-known original music, while avoiding appropriate acknowledgement and payment for the use of the original piece.

He said the party was considering its next steps and had already lodged a claim against the suppliers and licensors of the sound-alike track.

Adam Simpson, who acted for Eminem's music company Eight Mile Style and writers Jeff Bass and Luis Resto, said the ruling was a warning to music producers everywhere. It was found by a New Zealand court to have "substantially copied" his 2002 hit Lose Yourself.

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