Eminem Is Suing New Zealand’s National Party And I Can’t Stop Watching The Court Footage
['Lose Yourself' plays for an excruciating long time]
Eminem is no stranger to the courtroom. The Detroit rapper has been sued by his mother, aunt, uncle, ex-wife, and even the United States Secret Service. Now the tables have turned: Eminem’s latest feud has again ended up in court, and this time it’s against the New Zealand National Party.
Back in 2014, Eminem accused New Zealand’s ruling party of copyright infringement claiming his track ‘Lose Yourself’ was used for a promotional campaign without permission. The track was released in 2002 for the 8 Mile soundtrack, and went on to win an Academy Award and two Grammys.
The National Party claim to have bought the music, titled ‘Eminem Esque’, from a company called BeatBox. As such, they’re claiming the alleged infringement was accidental.
Today, the trial officially kicked off in Wellington and — though Eminem was sadly absent — his lawyers claimed the National Party infringed the “enormously valuable” copyright on the chart-topping track. In his opening address, barrister Gary Williams went so far as to break down the meaning of the song, explaining that it’s about “the idea of losing yourself in the moment and not missing opportunities in life”.
“That’s why the song appeals to both the public and those who wish to influence the public by using it in advertising,” he said.
Williams called the song “the jewel in the crown” of Eminem’s career. Likewise, it’s the jewel in the crown of one extremely entertaining court video. In the footage below, courtesy of Newshub, the track is played out for what feels like an unnecessarily excessive amount of time, to an audience of nine stone-faced lawyers and a judge.
They don’t move. They don’t even squirm. They just sit there, frozen in silence. Then, the vocal-less ‘Eminem Esque’ is played out to the same excruciating rapport. The clip below is just a portion of the full thing which clocks in just under four full minutes.
It’s fucking hysterical, and I cannot stop watching.
When the case first surfaced in 2014, copyright lawyer Chris Hocquard made sure to explain that the National Party were not “pretending that they didn’t even think it sounded like Eminem, they are just saying that they thought it was perfectly okay to use it because it was available.”
At the time, National Party director Steven Joyce didn’t think anything of it. “We think it’s pretty legal, I think these guys are just having a crack” he said, in a statement that was promptly roasted by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight. It turns out that was only Joyce’s first appearance on the show, later getting roasted for having a dildo thrown in his face in 2016.
The Eminem trial is expected to take six days. Whatever the outcome, I think we can all agree that New Zealand news is wild and we should all pay more attention to it.