US rapper Eminem is suing New Zealand’s conservative National Party over copyright claims.
The rapper’s music publishers are alleging the party copied a soundtrack for its 2014 election campaign ad, by copying the rapper’s acclaimed 2002 song. Titled “Eminem Esque,” the track allegedly has the familiar urgent, pulsing beat of the original.
The party has previously said it purchased the track through an Australian-based supplier and doesn’t believe it has infringed anyone’s copyright.
In 2014, when the case was filed, lawmaker Steven Joyce said he thought the use of the song was “pretty legal,” and 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.” That response was widely ridiculed.
Spokespeople for both Joyce and the National Party said today Monday they wouldn’t be commenting while the case was before the court.