National’s week from hell just got worse. The High Court has declared that it effectively ripped off Eminem’s song Lose yourself for its 2014 campaign ad.
From the start it seemed to me that National had overstepped the mark. Here is something I wrote in 2014:
National may have struck a problem with their campaign video. The soundtrack sounds suspiciously like Eminem’s song “Lose yourself” which was the lead song in the movie 8 Mile.
National has had this problem in the past. In 2007 a DVD was created about John Key which had a song which sounded like Coldplay’s Clocks. After a complaint the DVD was withdrawn.
Maybe National has learned and did get the Artist’s approval to use the song this time. Even if it did you have to wonder at the choice of song. You see it is all about a rapper who is ready to publicly perform and who chokes, a bit like National seems to be doing now.
Here are some of the lyrics:
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
The whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now
The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, bloah!
Perhaps this is how John Key feels every time that Dirty Politics is raised …
The High Court has confirmed that use of the tune was indeed to use that non legal term, a rip off. What I would like to know is what effect this will have on National’s 2014 return of electoral expenses. There could be some interesting legal issues arising from this.
And over to twitter which was at its best today …
Palms are sweaty. https://t.co/npvSvX5DOr
— Philip Matthews (@secondzeit) October 24, 2017
I repeat my call for the registrar to say "Please Stand Up, Please Stand Up" before Cull J enters the Court to give her decision https://t.co/dASmJyNKlk
— John Edwards (@JCE_PC) October 24, 2017
National lost to a rapper a few days after losing to a DJ, the National Party's arch-enemies are musicians.
— Sanjay Patel (@spat106) October 25, 2017
excellent start to a HC judgment pic.twitter.com/77f0o9NtrE
— Victoria Young (@victoriayoung03) October 25, 2017
Update: There is an interesting legal issue. National was $177k under the spending cap in 2014. Paying the judgment would presumably put it over because advertising expenses include “the cost incurred in the preparation, design, composition, printing, postage, and publication of the advertisement”. National’s cap is set by section 203C of the Electoral Act 1993. Under section 203D it is a corrupt practice to knowingly pay amounts in excess of breach the cap and this applies to “any person who directly or indirectly pays or knowingly aids or abets any person in paying for or on account of any election expenses any sum in excess of either of the maximum amounts prescribed by section 206C”. Good luck to National sorting that out.