National forced to pull Simon Bridges 'Carpool Karaoke' skit due to copyright fears

A still from the video.
A still from the video. Photo credit: Facebook/Simon Bridges

The National Party could have yet again got itself into copyright strife after uploading a 'Carpool Karaoke'-esque segment to Facebook.

Leader Simon Bridges and Hutt South MP Chris Bishop starred in the three-minute long clip, uploaded on Facebook earlier this week.

The pair reminisced while listening to some of their favourite songs, including Franz Ferdinand's 'Take Me Out' and 'Blue Eyes' by Elton John.

Both MPs said the song 'Take Me Out' reminded them of university days - Mr Bishop said it was played when he went out on the town, while Mr Bridges often had to tell a neighbour to turn the song down.

Mr Bridges played 'Blue Eyes', saying it reminded him of his 10-month-old daughter Jemima's eyes.

But playing those songs during the clip could have landed them in legal trouble and the clip was pulled last week as a precaution, NZME reports.

"Our view is the songs were covered under the fair use and incidental use provisions in the Copyright Act because the music was being played in the background and only for the purposes of review," party chief press secretary Michael Fox told NZME.

New Zealand allows for "fair dealing" use of materials for criticism or review, or "incidental use" where music is being played in the background by somebody else.

Copyright lawyer Paul Johns said their excuses were quite flimsy as they were clearly playing the song deliberately and not reviewing them at all.

"They could argue it, but I don't think they would be able to win on that one," he told NZME.

National has previously faced copyright issues after it used a track similar to Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' during the 2014 election campaign.

When legal action was first being considered, campaign manager Steven Joyce said he thought the song - called 'Eminem-esque' - was "pretty legal".