New Zealand’s National party has reportedly infringed the copyright of US rapper Marshall Mathers III, popularly known as Eminem’s Oscar winner track, “Lose Yourself” in a 2014 election campaign advertisement. After the legal battle, a High Court judge in Wellington ruled that the National party has breached the singer’s copyright and awarded Eminem’s publisher NZ$600,000 (US$412,200, AU$535,000/£315,000) along with the court and travel fees as compensation on Wednesday.

The beginning of war

On September 2014, Eminem filed reports against the former ruling party of New Zealand with the aid of Eight Mile Style, for copying a version of his blockbuster song, “Lose Yourself.” Eight Mile Style is a Ferndale company that is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the rapper’s music licenses.

In the defense, the center-right National party questioned the originality of the song and claimed that the chart-topper song, which was also featured in the film “Eight Mile” in 2002, was extensively borrowed from other music and genres.

The copied version of the song was aired 186 times, as a part of the 2014 general election campaign for television. However, after a prolonged analysis of about five months, the New Zealand court has ruled that the National party’s sound-alike instrumental, titled “Eminem-esque” was “sufficiently similar” to the original work of the rapper and it breached the copyright. According to The Guardian, the New Zealand High Court also said that “Lose Yourself” was a ”highly original work.”

The final verdict

According to USA Today, Justice Helen Cullen was obliged by the testimony of the song’s co-writer and producer, Jeff Bass.

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The extraordinary sound of the Academy Award Winner song is not only “melodic,” but it is the combination of guitar and other instruments, which created the strong mesmerizing rhythm. Cullen wrote in the 134 page-long ruling on October 25, "The effect of this was amply demonstrated by Mr. Bass’s playing the guitar riff in court." She further added, "His intention to create a tense hypnotic feeling by the guitar strum, chords and drum beat succeeded, through the insistent rhythm and guitar strum." During the assessment, she also agreed with Eminem and company, that the track is “jewel in the crown,” a “high-value song” in the Eminem’s career and thus it can earn substantial licensing fees.

Needless to say, this is probably the reason, why “Lose Yourself” earned the rapper, the 2003 Academy Award for the Best Original Song.