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Nats thought 'Eminem-esque' was fine

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/05/2017 Kris Dando

Video provided by Buzz60

The National Party secretary says he was told use of the "Eminem-esque" track for political advertising was "completely appropriate" and "risk-free".

Greg Hamilton was giving evidence in the High Court at Wellington on Friday, where his party is being sued by Detroit-based companies Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated.

They claim the music used in the party's 2014 election campaign advertising, and dubbed Eminem-esque, is a rip off of Eminem's 2002 hit Lose Yourself.

Mr Hamilton said the company employed to do advertising for the party in the campaign, Stan Three, assured him that the necessary legal license to use the track was forthcoming.

The similarity with Lose Yourself had been raised by a party staffer, as had the risk of being associated with Eminem's foul language, he said.

"We were told there was an Apra [licensing] agreement coming.

"We liked the Eminem-esque track because it was upbeat and vibrant and worked with the advertisement we had developed."

Under cross examination, Mr Hamilton said he did not seek legal assurance about the song himself, as the party was relying on Stan Three to do that.

"They are experts in making advertisements and licensing."

Earlier, the video's director, Glenn Jameson, said classical music for the rowing video was discounted by focus groups and the Eminem-esque track won out after a lot of discussion at meetings with National Party officials.

"The beat of that song was very effective."

He said that track was easy to find in a widely used production library but was "very different" in beat and style to Lose Yourself. He said he was relaxed about using it in the National Party advertisement.

Mr Jameson said "esque" music from artists as varied as Mozart to Beyonce, that sound similar, were available for license, as the originals would never be available.

The hearing is continuing.

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