National Party wins bid to have Eminem copyright damages reduced

The National Party has won a legal bid to reduce the damages it was made to pay after using a music track similar to an Eminem song.

Following an appeal, it's now had a $600,000 penalty for using 'Eminem Esque', a track similar to Eminem's 'Lose Yourself', cut down to $225,000 by the Court of Appeal.

The judge also dismissed a cross-appeal by record label Eight Mile Style seeking to be awarded additional damages.

The party used a track called 'Eminem-Esque' in a campaign ad in 2014, and record label Eight Mile Style sued for copyright infringement.

A trial in May 2017 found the "soundalike" music which National had licensed for $4802 had substantially copied 'Lose Yourself' - one of Eminem's biggest hits and the winner of both Grammy and Oscar awards.

The High Court in October 2017 had ordered the party and its President Greg Hamilton to pay $600,000 in damages for using a piece of music called 'Eminem Esque' in a 2014 ad.

During the High Court trial last year, the two companies had accused the National Party of intentionally trying to avoid paying for using the song by seeking production music that sounded similar like 'Lose Yourself'.

In response, National argued the companies responsible for producing, distributing and licensing 'Eminem Esque' should be liable for any damages because the party sourced the music in good faith.

National's lawyer Greg Arthur reprised that position in the Court of Appeal in Wellington, adding that he believed High Court Justice Helen Cull focused too much on Eight Mile Style in her decision, labelling her approach "licensor-centric".