Eminem’s publishers have announced:
In proceedings filed today in the Wellington Registry of the High Court of New Zealand, Eight Mile Style, LLC and Martin Affiliated, LLC, the Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s copyrights, are seeking damages for copyright infringement against the New Zealand National Party. The proceedings stem from allegations that unauthorised use has been made of Eminem’s Grammy and Academy Award winning song, “Lose Yourself”, in election campaign advertising run by the National Party in the lead up to the 2014 New Zealand General Election which is to take place on 20 September 2014.
Joel Martin, speaking on behalf of the publishers, said: “The claim we have filed alleges copyright infringement. Eminem’s publishers were not approached for permission to use any of Eminem’s songs for this campaign advertisement. It is both disappointing and sadly ironic that the political party responsible for championing the rights of music publishers in New Zealand by the introduction of the 3 strikes copyright reforms should itself have so little regard for copyright. We do not hesitate to take immediate action to protect the integrity of Eminem’s works, particularly where a party, as here, has sought to associate itself with Eminem and his work.”
I guess it will come down to whether the song used by National was altered enough to be considered a new work.
Personally I think parties are best to avoid music that even slightly resembles an existing song.
UPDATE: The Herald reports:
In a statement, the National Party said it completely rejected the allegations the music used in its early campaign advertisements had infringed the copyright of any artist’s work.
“The National Party purchased the music in question from recognised production music supplier Beatbox, based in Australia and Singapore. The music was originally published by Spider Cues Music, a well-established Los Angeles-based provider of music to the film and entertainment industry.
“As with all works licensed by the Beatbox library music service, the National Party was assured the music in question did not infringe any copyright and was an original work.
“Furthermore, the music license and fee were arranged through the Australasian Performing Rights Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (Apra/Amcos), who act as agents for Beatbox in Australia and New Zealand.
“These organisations exist to protect the rights of artists.
“Regardless, as our advertising was moving on to different material at the time of the complaint, over two weeks ago, we were able to accommodate the complaining artist and undertake not to continue using the track. However, this has not satisfied the complainant.”
The National Party said the song had been licensed multiple times both in Australia and New Zealand without issue or complaint.
That’s a pretty strong defence. Looks like it could be a beat up.Tags: copyright, Eminem, National