Eminem wins New Zealand copyright suit over 'blatant ripoff' of 'Lose Yourself'

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COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo

After more than five months, Eminem and his publisher emerged victorious in a New Zealand suit against that country's right-wing National Party, that (let's be honest) seemed like a pretty clear case of copyright infrigement from the begining.

In question was a "Lose Yourself" copycat track — literally titled "Eminem Esque" — used by New Zealand's National Party in a 2014 general election campaign TV spot. Eminem's publisher, Eight Mile Style, filed suit in 2014. In response, a National Party campaign manager famously said he felt the use of the song was "pretty legal." During the suit, Jeff Bass, the song's co-writer and producer, said the National Party version was 'a blatant ripoff.'

Unfortunately for the National Party, a New Zealand judge ruled that the use of the track was actually extremely not legal. The judge "agreed with Eminem's team that 'Lose Yourself' is the 'jewel in the crown' of the rapper's catalog, a 'high value song' that can fetch premium licensing fees," according to the Detroit Free Press. Em's publisher was awarded $700,00 New Zealand dollars, or approximately $482,000 U.S., plus court and travel fees.

The lawsuit comes to a close nearly 15 years after the release of Eminem's film 8 Mile, which featured the song on its soundtrack and earned Eminem an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammys for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Solo Performance.

Eminem will celebrate the 15th anniversary of 8 Mile with a red carpet event in Detroit.


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