Eminem lawsuit against New Zealand political party begins

This Jan. 31, 2010 file photo shows rapper Eminem as he performs at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (MATT SAYLES – ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – They may not have lost themselves in the music or the moment but a judge and nine lawyers in a New Zealand courtroom did listen politely to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” as a copyright case involving the country’s ruling political party got underway.

The Detroit-based music publishers for Eminem are suing New Zealand’s conservative National Party for using a similar soundtrack titled “Eminem Esque” for a television advertisement during the 2014 election campaign.

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, lawmaker Steven Joyce said he thought the use of the song was “pretty legal,” a response that was widely mocked, including by comedian John Oliver on his show “Last Week Tonight.”

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