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Eminem-esque legal battle results in new dispute between library music firms

By | Published on Monday 21 August 2017

A spill over dispute linked to the legal battle between Eminem and New Zealand’s National Party has formally gone legal, as two production music companies argue over who should pay for legal costs associated with the whole kafuffle.

As previously reported, in 2014 New Zealand’s ruling political party used a piece of library music called ‘Eminem-esque’ in an election campaign ad. It sounded really rather like Eminem track ‘Lose Yourself’, so much so the rapper’s publishing company sued for copyright infringement.

When the dispute got to court earlier this year, the politicians insisted that they had properly licensed the Eminem-esque ‘Eminem-esque’ track off a production music company called Beatbox. Though legal reps for Slim Shady pointed to emails between people working for the National Party which discussed the similarities between their ad track and ‘Lose Yourself’, and that they risked being accused of ripping off the rapper’s music.

Those emails, the Eminem company argued in the New Zealand courts, showed that the politicians knew they’d be infringing the ‘Lose Yourself’ song copyright in their commercial, even if a production music firm had provided them with a convincing looking licence to use the track. We still await the judge’s conclusion on that case.

Meanwhile, the there mentioned Beatbox has launched its own litigation against another production music company which, it seems, provided it with ‘Eminem-esque’. Beatbox wants that other music library outfit to cover legal costs it has incurred in relation to the dispute between Eminem and the National Party.

Australia-based Beatbox seemingly represents various catalogues owned by US firm Spider Cues Music Library in its home market and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that includes bloody ‘Eminem-esque’.

Beatbox says that when it entered into a sub-publishing deal with Spider Cues, its then new business partner insisted its catalogues were “exclusive and original works”. It also alleges that Spider Cues failed to alert its Aussie ally to the fact that it “knew or had reason to know that [some of its] tracks allegedly potentially infringed the rights of third parties”.

Spider Cues is yet to respond to those allegations, but Beatbox – for its part – says it is facing legal bills of $320,367, and that it wants its American buddies to cover those costs.