Eminem Wins vs. New Zealand Political Party in Copyright Lawsuit

Ordered to pay NZ$600,00, New Zealand’s National Party is snapped back to reality

Getty Images

The New Zealand National Party had one shot, one opportunity, but they let it slip.

New Zealand’s high court ruled Tuesday in favor of Eight Mile Style, the publishing company that owns the rights to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” in a lawsuit over a 2014 political ad that copied the 2002 hit.

The high court charged the political party a “hypothetical licence fee” of NZ$600,000, an amount the party likely would have been asked to pay had they been able to secure permission to use the song in the first place.

The court said the song used in the ad — called “Eminem Esque” — “substantially reproduces the essence of ‘Lose Yourself.’”

“The close similarities and the indiscernible differences in drum beat, the ‘melodic’ line and the piano figures between ‘Lose Yourself’ and ‘Eminem Esque’ make ‘Eminem Esque’ strikingly similar to ‘Lose Yourself,’” the court’s ruling said.

The ad played 186 times over 11 days on national television in New Zealand, the Guardian reported. Written by Eminem, Jeffrey Bass and Luis Resto, the song was first-ever rap to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and also earned Eminem a two Grammys.

Watch the National Party’s ad, followed by the original “Lose Yourself,” below: