Just days after wrapping up his record-breaking Australian tour, it seems that Eminem has got our eastern neighbours in his sights again, taking his New Zealand copyright battle to the country’s top court.
If you haven’t been following the now-infamous ‘Eminem Esque’ case, it all kicked off back in 2017, when the rapper’s legal team filed a suit against New Zealand’s conservative National Party.
The case revolved around a piece of music (titled ‘Eminem Esque’, no less) that was created for the National Party’s 2014 campaign ads which Eminem believed to have been a little too close to his Academy Award-winning tune, ‘Lose Yourself’.
After the lawsuit was launched, campaign manager Steven Joyce claimed that the party’s use of the song was “pretty legal”, while claiming that that Eminem’s team “are just having a crack and a bit of an eye for the main chance because it’s an election campaign”.
Despite this questionable phrasing, the lawsuit did give us a rather humorous moment, in which we witnessed a New Zealand courtroom being forced to hold a listening party for both tracks, in which no one was seen ‘losing themselves’.
Check out a New Zealand courtroom listening to ‘Lose Yourself’:
In May of 2017, this legal battle came to an ostensible end when it was ruled that ‘Eminem Esque’ did substantially copy ‘Lose Yourself’, with damages damages of NZ$600,000 ($572,000) being awarded to Eight Mile Style, the licensee and co-owner of Eminem’s original.
By the end of 2018 however, the matter was again in the headlines after a successful appeal to have the damages in the case reduced to NZ$225,000 ($214,000).
Now, the case is going before the courts again, with Complex revealing that Eight Mile Style have filed documents for the case to go before New Zealand’s Supreme Court.
In a statement given upon the original filing of the suit, and again reiterated in this new filing, Eight Mile Style maintain that ‘Lose Yourself’ is “without doubt the jewel in the crown of Eminem’s musical work”, pointing that licensing of the tune is rare, can “command in the millions of dollars”, and has never been approved for political usage.
At this stage, it remains to be seen whether or not the high court will indeed agree to hear this case, though it does seem as though we haven’t heard the last of Eminem and this highly-protracted legal battle.
Recently, The Industry Observer reported how Eminem’s Australian tour managed to break an attendance record at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with 80,708 coming out to see the hip-hop icon.