The 10 Most Ridiculous Lines From Eminem’s Wild New Zealand Court Case
We need more High Court judges writing extremely seriously about rap.
Earlier today, the New Zealand National Party had its arse handed to it for the second time in a week when a judge ruled it had indeed infringed copyright by blatantly ripping off Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ for a political ad.
Almost as rare and funny as a conservative political party getting its comeuppance in 2017 was the text of the judgement itself, which featured several extraordinary passages where the judge recounted the experience of listening to Eminem in Serious Legal Terms.
We read the entire 132-page judgement so you don’t have to (though if you’re a big nerd, you can read it here).
Here are the best bits:
1. It Literally Opens With An Eminem Quote
2. And Then Quickly Gets Down To Serious Legal Business
Law is a serious and difficult profession, you guys. See for example the judge’s conclusions that “a copy is a copy if it sounds like a copy”, and “the ear tells you that it is the same”. These snippets of wisdom will inform the profound musical analysis to come.
3. A Musical Expert Breaks It Down For Us
The judge considers the opinion of Dr. Ford, an expert musicologist, who delves into what it is exactly that gives Eminem’s delivery its musical edge:
4. That Moment When The Beat Drops
Dr. Zemke, another expert musicologist, then swings by to compare both Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ and ‘Eminem Esque’, the ripoff track used by the Nationals.
The difference she uncovers is extraordinary, and the judgement quotes it accordingly: “At 1 [minute] 38 [seconds] of ‘Lose Yourself’ the beat ‘drops’ after tension and anticipation. ‘Eminem Esque’ has no such drop.”
5. Advice For When You’re Wondering Why A Song Does Not Have A Sung Melody
According to the judge: “’Lose Yourself’, as a song, does not have a sung melody as it is a rap song.”
6. Advice For When You’ve Forgotten What Is Music???
“Music is defined as ‘a combination of sounds available for hearing and appreciation through the ears of the listeners'”.
7. Property 101: Who Owns The Vibe?
Dr. Zemke is cited again for her take on whether the song in the National Party ad sounds like Eminem. Her sage advice, as paraphrased by the judge:
“She contends there is no mistaking that this is not Eminem speaking; there is no similar delivery and there is no copyright on the use of rhetorical pauses or a tone of reasonableness. The use of those elements may create a similar vibe to ‘Lose Yourself’, but vibe cannot be owned by anyone.”
Vibe cannot be owned by anyone. Big mood.
8. The Bit Where The National Party, Destroyed Just Last Week By Jacinda Ardern, Get Wrecked Again By Eminem’s Publisher
Here’s the judge again, summing up why Eminem’s publisher would never have licensed the song to the National Party.
“He considered that the 30 second advertisement was bland and perfunctory, it was not inspiring, and employs scare tactics to persuade voters to stick with what they know, rather than take a chance on another party. In his view, the advertisement messaging did not fit creatively with the message of ‘Lose Yourself’, which exudes the concepts of backing yourself and resilience. ‘Eminem Esque’, in his view, was a weak and bland copy of ‘Lose Yourself’.”
9. And Then The Bit Where The National Party, Destroyed Just Last Week By Jacinda Ardern, Get Wrecked By A High Court Judge Analysing Eminem
10. And Finally, The Bit Where It Closes With Another Eminem Quote
“And prophetically so rapped Eminem”. Man, High Court judges need to get into music criticism more often.