New Zealand party told to pay for breached Eminem copyright

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A New Zealand court has ordered the nation's main conservative political party to pay Eminem's publisher 600,000 New Zealand dollars ($415,000) plus interest for breaching copyright by using a song too similar to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in its campaign ads.

The National Party used the song "Eminem Esque" 186 times during its successful 2014 election campaign before pulling the ad off the air. Publisher Eight Mile Style sued, saying the track ripped off the rapper's acclaimed 2002 hit.

Judge Helen Cull ruled the difference between the songs was minimal and "Eminem Esque" reproduced the essence of the Eminem original.

The case could have implications for other organizations that use so-called "sound-alike" tracks sold by commercial operators.