We all remember Eminem's 'Lose Yourself', right? Of course you do, it's one of the most motivational film songs of all time. Right up there with 'Eye of the Tiger' - one listen and you're all pumped up for running up steps, winning rap battles or performing general heroic deeds. It's a stone-cold banger.
In fact, the Grammy and Academy Award-winning song is so potent that New Zealand's National Party saw an opportunity to bottle some of its lightning with their own version, entitled 'Eminem Esque'.
Unsurprisingly, this plan didn't work out too well, and has now resulted in a $400,000 payout for the Detroit rapper following a lengthy lawsuit. Hear the track for yourself, soundtracking the party's 2014 election campaign ad:
Credit: New Zealand National Party
Sounds similar, right? New Zealand's high court thought so, ruling that 'Eminem Esque' 'substantially copied' the original song and was 'sufficiently similar' that it broke copyright law.
Eminem's music publisher Eight Mile Style has now been awarded NZ $600,000 (£315,000/ $412,888) in damages after the high court ruled that the National Party infringed on Eminem's copyright in using the song for their election campaign.
In August 2014, the then-governing party of New Zealand used the 'Lose Yourself'-inspired track to soundtrack their campaign ad for that year's general election, with Eight Mile Style filing their lawsuit on 14 September.
"The differences between the two works are minimal; the close similarities and the indiscernible differences in drum beat, the 'melodic line' and the piano figures make 'Eminem Esque' strikingly similar to 'Lose Yourself'," stated the high court's ruling.
The ruling concluded: "The similarities between the works overwhelmingly support a finding of copying."
It's been called a confirmation of the rights of songwriters that will have a major effect on the global music industry.
Speaking from Detroit on behalf of Eight Mile Style, Joel Martin said that Eminem had not been approached for permission to use his work in the ad.
"We find it incredible that the National Party went to such great lengths to avoid responsibility for using a weak rip-off of 'Lose Yourself'," Martin said.
"They knew we would not have permitted the use of the song in their political advertisement; however, they proceeded at their own risk and blamed others for their infringement."
The National Party denied infringing Eminem's work, saying that the track for their ad came from a production company based in Australia, but the high court disagreed. The ruling is likely to be seen as a warning to copycat music producers and their clients everywhere.
The ad was played on TV 186 times over an 11-day period during the election campaign. That's a lot of copyright infringement.
Well, Em did warn us that the other Slim Shadies were 'just imitating', I suppose.
Words: Chris Ogden
Featured Image Credit: PA