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National Party sued for unauthorised use of Eminem song

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

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."

"Lose Yourself" is one of the most iconic copyrights in the world and the song’s publishers have rarely authorised its use to advertise products and have said that they would never allow it to be used in connection with any political campaign. "We enjoy working with clients who approach us with creative ideas to use our song where real value is created for all parties, but we will always be aggressive in protecting our valuable rights."

The publishers have previously sued Apple for using an Eminem song in a commercial spot without permission. There has also been a high profile dispute with Audi in which the publishers alleged that it had wrongfully used a substantial reproduction of "Lose Yourself" in its advertising.

Eight Mile Style, LLC and Martin Affiliated, LLC have engaged leading technology and intellectual property lawyers, Hudson Gavin Martin and specialist intellectual property barrister, Garry Williams of Richmond Chambers to act on their behalf in relation to the proceedings.

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