27 October 2017
Last week, Eminem’s music publisher Eight Mile Style was awarded NZ $600,000 (£315,000/ $412,888) in damages after the high court ruled that the New Zealand National Party infringed on Eminem’s copyright in a the song used for their election campaign.
The song was ruled to have ripped off the 45-year-old rapper’s tune ‘Lose Yourself’.
“The differences between the two works are minimal; the close similarities and the indiscernible differences in drum beat, the ‘melodic line’ and the piano figures make ‘Eminem Esque’ strikingly similar to ‘Lose Yourself’,” stated the high court’s ruling.
The ruling concluded: “The similarities between the works overwhelmingly support a finding of copying.”
Anyway, rather than pocketing the money, it turns out that Em’s going to do something really decent and donate the proceeds of the case to hurricane relief.
On Thursday, a rep for Eminem told Variety that the rapper would be donating any money he receives to charities contributing to relief efforts from hurricanes in the southern United States and Caribbean.
“Eminem was not a party to this lawsuit nor was he consulted regarding the case,” the rep said. “Any monetary settlement he receives from it will be donated to hurricane relief. He encourages the plaintiffs, 8 Mile Style, to do the same.”
The National Party denied infringing Eminem’s work, saying that the track for their ad came from a production company based in Australia, but the high court disagreed. The ruling is likely to be seen as a warning to copycat music producers.
“The ruling clarifies and confirms the rights of artists and songwriters,” Adam Simpson, the lawyer for Eight Mile Style told CNN. “It sets a major precedent in New Zealand and will be influential in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.”
The ad was played on TV 186 times over an 11-day period during the election campaign.