Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party For Allegedly Using 'Lose Yourself' Song Without Permission To Promote Prime Minister John Key's Re-election
Publishers of Eminem are suing New Zealand National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using the rapper's song "Lose Yourself" in its campaign advertisement to get Prime Minister John Key re-elected, the Australian Associated Press reported.
Eight Mile Style, LLC and Martin Affiliated, LLC, the Detroit-based publishers of Eminem's copyrights, have filed proceedings in the High Court at Wellington Tuesday, Sept. 16. Both publishers are seeking damages for copyright infringement against the New Zealand National Party.
They claim "unauthorized 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," according to NZCity.
"Eminem's publishers were not approached for permission to use any of Eminem's songs for this campaign advertisement," said Joel Martin, speaking on behalf of the publishers, according to The New Zealand Herald.
"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 three strikes copyright reforms should itself have so little regard for copyright," Martin added. "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."
New Zealand National Party, on the other hand, rejected the allegation, describing the music used in its campaign advertisement as library music. The party also said that it bought it from recognized production music supplier Beatbox, which is based in Australia and Singapore, Radio New Zealand News reported.
New Zealand National Party's campaign manager Steven Joyce said it received a complaint two weeks ago and stopped using the track in question, but this apparently had not stopped the complainant from taking legal actions.
Joyce added that the track has been licensed several times both in Australia and New Zealand without issue or complaint, and it seems that the political party is the only organization that has used the music material that is being targeted by lawsuits.
Joyce said that he suspects the publishers are only trying to earn publicity and probably even money.