By: Emily Walton
The National Party's use of the track Eminem Esque, in its 2014 election campaign was a copyright infringement.

The High Court decided Eminem Esque is a substantial copy of Lose Yourself, Eminem's highly original work, which attracts copyright protection. The tracks are "strikingly similar" with few differences.

To calculate the amount of damages, the Court assessed the hypothetical bargain that would have been reached between (a willing) Eight Mile Style and the National Party. Relevant was the fact that Lose Yourself is a high value work, rarely licensed to preserve and increase its value, and that Eminem and Eight Mile Style would not have endorsed its use for political advertising. Damages were awarded at $600,000 plus interest.

The National Party had taken professional advice on whether to use the track and was not reckless in doing so. There will now be a separate hearing on the professional adviser's liability. 
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