The music publisher of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" is suing a New Zealand political party for alleged unauthorized use of the Detroit rapper's Oscar- and Grammy-winning song during the run-up to a national election in the country.
New Zealand's National Party used the song in its efforts supporting the reelection of Prime Minister John Key, but the publisher, Eight Mile Style, said permission was never granted for that use.
The U.K. Guardian quoted publishing company representative Joel Martin stating that "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."
A spokesman for Eminem's U.S. label said Tuesday that "While he opposes the unauthorized use of his music, in this instance the infringement claim in question was initiated by the publisher of his early song catalog, not by Eminem himself."
Representatives for the National Party insist they did not infringe on copyright, but nonetheless have stopped using the song during the campaign. Eight Mile Style is still seeking unspecified damages, according to the Guardian.
"The National Party will be defending this action vigorously," according to a statement from the National Party. "As the matter is now before the courts we will not be making any further public comment."
Party representatives also claim that "Lose Yourself" has been used by other organizations without similar actions by Eminem and the publisher.
"It appears though that the National Party is the only organisation that has used this material that is being legally targeted," the party's statement said.
The suit was filed in New Zealand about two weeks ago.