(AllHipHop News) New Zealand political party’s campaign manager raised concerns about Eminem copyright
The campaign manager for the New Zealand National Party’s Eminem-style election advertisement in 2014 had her concerns about copyright issues brushed off by industry experts, a court has heard.
Lawyers for the rapper’s publishing firm Eight Mile Style filed suit against National Party officials three years ago, accusing them of using an unlicensed version of his 2002 hit “Lose Yourself” in their TV ads for then-leader John Key’s re-election effort.
Party representatives dismissed the allegations, insisting they legally purchased the tune, titled “Eminem Esque,” from a stock music library provided by Australian production company Beatbox.
A trial into the case began in Wellington’s High Court on Monday (May 1), and during Wednesday’s (May 3) hearing, defence witness Jo de Joux, who was the campaign manager, admitted she had voiced her worries about the stock music’s similarities to the Oscar-winning tune early on in the promo’s development.
She also confessed she was hesitant because she had previously faced complaints about the use of a Coldplay track in a prior campaign, but she agreed to go ahead with “Eminem Esque” after seeking and receiving assurances from various music and advertising professionals.
“I was therefore adamant that the party did not want to have to deal with any such complaints during the 2014 campaign,” de Joux explained. “I needed absolute reassurance that the track could be legitimately used by the party before I was willing to recommend that we proceed.”
However, during her cross-examination, de Joux acknowledged she did not seek legal advice or contact Eminem’s representatives about possible copyright issues to ensure they were in the clear, reports The Associated Press.
Her testimony took place a day after composer Jeff Bass, who co-wrote “Lose Yourself,” blasted “Eminem Esque” in court as a “blatant rip-off.”
Eminem and his publishers are seeking an undisclosed cash settlement and a declaration that National Party bosses breached his copyright in using the track.
The judge-only trial is expected to last a total of six days.