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A New Zealand Political Party Has Been Ordered To Pay Eminem $600,000

Lost an election, lost the case, lose yourself.

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The New Zealand National Party has been ordered to pay NZ$600,000 to US rapper Eminem and other collaborators for using a song Eminem Esque that was similar to his hit Lose Yourself in a political ad.

Eminem sued the National Party for copyright infringement after a song called Eminem Esque, which sounds similar to Lose Yourself, was featured in the party's conference in the lead up to the 2014 election, and played in an ad 186 times on New Zealand TV during the election campaign.

You can hear the two tracks being played in court during the trial here.

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National Party denied that the song infringed on Eminem's copyright however the High Court of New Zealand disagreed, and on Wednesday ruled that Eminem Esque had copied Lose Yourself, and it was a breach of copyright.

The court found that Eminem and the other creators of the song were owed NZ$600,000 plus interest from 2014 in damages.

The High Court even joked that the lyrics of the song supported the case that Eminem Esque had ripped off the song.

I'm glad the Judge of "Eight Mile Style v New Zealand National Party" judgment adapted @Eminem's lyrics into their… https://t.co/OKjISzRoWc


The case was featured in an episode of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight.

View this video on YouTube

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It is another blow for NZ National, less than a week after NZ First leader Winston Peters announced he would go in coalition with NZ Labour to form government, thus denying National another term in office.

Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Josh Taylor at josh.taylor@buzzfeed.com.

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