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National in court – is “pretty legal” good enough?

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, May 1st, 2017 - 41 comments
Categories: crime, law, music, national, scoundrels, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , ,

Today National, party of personal responsibility and property rights, is in court for allegedly ripping off an artist – Eminem and National Party set for court battle

Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers, aka Slim Shady has taken New Zealand’s governing political party to court, accusing it of using backing music to his song Lose Yourself in its 2014 election campaign TV advertisements.

A three week trial is set to begin in the High Court at Wellington tomorrow, with lawyers for the American rapper seeking damages for copyright infringement.

The National Party has flatly denied the allegations and said the music came from an Australian-based production outfit and had been used by others without complaint.

Steven Joyce, who managed the election campaign, said after the stoush first broke out he thought the use of the song was “pretty legal”.

“Pretty legal”? The court might decide otherwise.

This is not the first time National have been in trouble for using music without permission. How stupid do you have to be to make the same mistake twice?

41 comments on “National in court – is “pretty legal” good enough? ”

  1. ianmac 1

    What is a cray story?

  2. BM 2

    I don’t really get why there’s even a court case?
    National brought the rights to use this song

    “We think it’s pretty legal, we think these guys are just having a crack and have a bit of an eye for the main chance because it’s an election campaign.

    “We’ve got all the licensing, we’ve told them that and made it clear again this afternoon.

    Joyce said the track was licensed with the distributors and publishers.

    “We also sought assurances from AMCOS and APRA that we could use it, and they were all given.”

    National paid the standard licensing fees and the track had been used by other agencies in the past, Joyce said.


    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      I don’t really get why there’s even a court case?

      Because National used the song without permission according to the copyright holder.

      National brought the rights to use this song

      And there’s probably a clause in there that prohibits use for political purposes without the specific permission of the artist. Many artists seem to be getting really pissed off with RWNJs using their music when they don’t support those parties and their politics.

      • BM 2.1.1

        Is there a clause? according to Joyce

        We also sought assurances from AMCOS and APRA that we could use it, and they were all given

        National is to the left of the democrats, is Eminem a raging republican or something?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Is there a clause?

          I don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised.

          We also sought assurances from AMCOS and APRA that we could use it, and they were all given

          That’s an interesting statement because that would indicate that the people they got the rights off didn’t know either – if they’ve got it in writing which I doubt.

          • Bob

            “That’s an interesting statement because that would indicate that the people they got the rights off didn’t know either – if they’ve got it in writing which I doubt”
            They didn’t get rights to “Lose Yourself”, they got rights to a song that allegedly sounds similar enough to that song that Eminem wants to test it in court.
            National are named in the court case as they are the end licensee, however, any legal costs/damages will likely be covered under the indemnity offered by Beatbox Music who offered the rights to the allegedly similar song. AMCOS and APRA would have been able to give assurances on the licensed content, not whether other artists thought the content breached their copyright.

        • dukeofurl

          Eight Mile Style say the rights are very rarely licensed and would be in the ‘millions’ range.

          They hook was they werent using the original version but a ‘sounda like’ one.

          They had rights to the copy cat version , but the court case is the copycat version is much more copy than cat

          • BM

            Have the people who released the copy cat version been sued?

            • Sacha

              There are different types of rights involved for composition and performance. Maybe its easier to sue whoever arranged performance of the song than those who copied it?

            • lprent

              Have the people who released the copy cat version been sued?

              *sigh* Think of the legal position.

              The supplier didn’t use it in public. National did. National can sue them if they lose for the costs that they incurred based on the type of contract that National had with them.

              However I am sure that they will be represented in court. For them the best result is if the copyright action is defeated or has a minimal penalty.

              • dukeofurl

                More info here

                It seems nationals version was classified as a ‘remix’, different to a ‘cover’ , which is the same music
                “Remixes are commissioned for a number of different reasons. This may be to target a different market e.g. a club remix of a commercial release for DJs to play in nightclubs, a radio friendly remix of a club track for commercial airplay, or even as a launch tool for an up-and-coming artist.

                The artist formerly known as John Key!

                APRA only registers remixes once you have got permission from the original rights holders. So if national are claiming that they got the go ahead from Apra, they are telling another lie.

                • Bob

                  “APRA only registers remixes once you have got permission from the original rights holders. So if national are claiming that they got the go ahead from Apra, they are telling another lie.”
                  It wasn’t a remix, it was an original piece of content which Eminem is alleging sounds too similar to his own work, which is why he is testing it in court. APRA would have registered the original piece of work which is why National would have been able to get assurances from them. It isn’t APRA’s job to police copyright infringement, that is up to the courts as is happening in this case.

              • BM


                Out of interest I went and had a look at what’s involved in selling a cover, here be dragons.


      • dukeofurl 2.1.2

        They bought rights to a copycat version, not the original music

        Now ist a different music they are facing

      • aerobubble 2.1.3

        Who pays? Taxpayers or Naff party coffers? Seems some lawyer thinks he can make some good fees on the case.

        • Bob

          Beatbox Music who licensed the content most likely, otherwise the National Party

    • PMC 2.2

      “National brought the rights to use this song”

      How could they have brought them when they didn’t have them in the first place? That’s the point. The only thing National brought was the song, and they brought that to the election campaign. And they weren’t allowed to do that because they didn’t have the rights.

      • Bob 2.2.1

        “How could they have brought them when they didn’t have them in the first place?”

        Beatbox Music had the rights to the track they licensed, the National Party licensed it from Beatbox Music. That is ll completely above board. What has now happened is that Eminem is suggesting that the track sounds too similar to his copyrighted content so he is testing his copyright in court. National are the end licensee so they are named in the court case.
        If Eminem wins the court case, it is likely Beatbox Music will end up paying the legal fees under their indemnity, as National legally licensed content from them.

        This isn’t a licensing issue, this is a copyright issue, two very different things.

        • PMC

          Thanks for that, Bob. That makes sense. Will be interesting to see what happens. (I should say, though, that my comment was really more about BM’s appalling grammar.)

    • McFlock 2.3

      If the case is as pointless as you say, it’ll be a quick trial.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    This made me chuckle the other day.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Thanks for sharing that clever thought you saw.

      It seems obvious that Gnashional doesn’t understand the finer points of ‘English’ as shown in their apparent manipulation of it. Actually it’s all a misunderstanding.
      A lot of people here are writing that they brought the rights. This is probably the case and shows their naive thinking. They thought that brought means the same as bought and therefore they were in the Right.

      And we know that Gnashional practice a sort of kaizen, that means continuous improvement. Only they improve what they do when they are forced to by bad publicity, arm twisting, and bruised toes.

    • Exactly , Draco.

      I’m sure that hasn’t been lost on those aware of the illegal arrest of Dotcom and the subsequent illegalities following rapidly afterwards as well…

  4. PMC 4

    Even if National go down the general public will see trying to use the song and then choosing to fight the claim as a sign of strength and a badge of honour.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      No, really, they won’t – they’ll see National as a bunch of hypocrites.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.1

        Its called ‘stealing other peoples property’, and that from a party of property rights !

        Badge of honour ? , yeah they are the Creme de la Crim.

      • PMC 4.1.2

        I truly hope so, but NZ hasn’t recovered from the cultural damage governments over the last 30 odd years have continued to bestow upon its citizens. The 1990s were in many ways the worst, but what’s important is there’s been no effort to even try to show the importance of fostering a caring society. Screwing people over and getting away with it is the order of the day, and this government especially has been tells us continuously through its actions that this is a good thing. Whether we like it or not a lot of people believe this and without anything being said by any of the political parties that this is not how we should behave towards each other nothing’s going to change. For most people, today, getting one over someone else, if you can do it legally, is a badge of honour.

    • Tricledrown 4.2

      PMC pathetically morally Corrupt.
      We should have GSCB surveillance on the National party with a raid by the armed offenders squad.

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    Appropriately reprised…

  6. Richard@Downsouth 6

    Either National wins, and the Music Industry gets screwed, or the Music Industry wins because of the law… I cant see National winning, and not because I dislike them…

  7. keepcalmcarryon 7

    Bill English has his head out the window listening for choppers on the lawn.
    Jason Ede has shredded the computers.
    The GCSB have extradited themselves.

    • And Keys sneaking between suburban homes looking for clothing to steal from clotheslines so he can ditch that day glo orange jumpsuit he’s wearing …

  8. Recap time !!!

    John Oliver – Eminem vs NZ National Party – YouTube
    Video for John Oliver – Eminem vs NZ National Party▶ 1:44

  9. And lets not forget this pearler either …. L00L!

    Comedian John Oliver mocks Steven Joyce – YouTube
    Video for John Oliver – stephen joyce dildo▶ 4:30

  10. roy cartland 10

    “How stupid do you have to be to make the same mistake twice?”

    Make that three times – didn’t National (under Muldoon) also get pinged for ripping off Chariots of Fire a few decades back?

  11. mosa 11

    I hope they throw the book at the National party over this and for once send them the message that they are arrogant, conceited and corrupt.

    The campaign ads didn’t set the world on fire and were discredited by encouraging hard working kiwis to row the boats as John Key and his wealthy elite sat in the back sipping champagne and discussing how great neo liberalism is.

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