In late 2014 Eminem's lawyers hit our National Party with a copyright suit after the party's TV advertisements during its 2014 election campaign featured his track 'Lose Yourself.'
Today Eminem's lawyers were back in court. Greg Arthur appeared in Wellington's High Court on behalf of the National Party and told Justice Brendan Brown that he wanted to split trial into two parts - one for liability and one for damages.
According to Arthur the liability trial would take about two weeks, possibly more, but calculating damages "wasn't straightforward" so liability should be established first.
Garry Williams is representing Eight Mile Style LLC and Martin Affiliated LLC, disagreed, saying his clients wanted a single trial adding damages weren't complex and it could be dealt with in a single trial.
"They are issues that arise in copyright cases all the time," he said.
Justice Brown held off his decision and gave the parties the opportunity to come up with a resolution by March 23.
In September last year spokesman for the publishers Joel Martin said Eminem released a statement saying:
"Eminem's publishers were not approached for permission to use any of Eminem's songs for this campaign advertisement,"
"It is both disappointing and sadly ironic that the political party responsible for championing the rights of music publishers in New Zealand by the introduction of the three strikes copyright reforms should itself have so little regard for copyright. We do not hesitate to take immediate action to protect the integrity of Eminem's works, particularly where a party, as here, has sought to associate itself with Eminem and his work."
The strange thing about this case is The National Party flatly denied allegations they had used the track 'Loose Yourself' and the campaign manager Steven Joyce even said last September he thought the use of the song was "pretty legal" also adding "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,"