The New Zealand National Party’s alleged unauthorized use of Eminem’s work has gifted the internet with one of the most deadpan receptions to the banger, “Lose Yourself,” probably ever. The NZ National Party has been accused of “borrowing” the song without Eminem’s permission for one of its 2014 campaign advertisements. For anyone who has heard “Lose Yourself,” the commercial’s tune has an uncanny resemblance to the song’s background guitar chords and piano notes. As John Oliver pointed out over two years ago, not even the National Party campaign manager had a good defense, arguing “it was pretty legal.” The NZ National Party has since then defended itself by claiming it instead used a song titled, “Eminem-esque.” In the subsequent lawsuit, Eminem charged the ruling party with breach of copyright, allowing the world a glimpse of New Zealand courtrooms’ apparent stoicism.
With wide-eyes and anticipation, the judge declares, “I’m now going to play the sound recording, which embodies the musical work, “Lose Yourself.” The familiar guitar chords saturate the room, and a tense stillness permeates the space. The entire courtroom is painfully awkward as the listeners do not quite know how to position themselves. From the sound of the video, the impassioned song plays at club-rager volume – to which the only natural reaction is at least the small tapping of a pencil or head bobbing. However, the stiff judge and lawyers fail to reconcile such tendencies with the standard professionalism of the courtroom. Instead opting for the classic move “sitting-frozen-in-your seat-unsure-how-to-occupy-space.”
While some court members give the appearance of intensely listening, the very nature of the case undoubtedly demanded hearing the song an excessive amount of times for preparation purposes. Not only does this make listening to the song in court recording redundant, it also ensures that the entire courtroom has a close knowledge of the song lyrics, assurably contributing to the strained stillness. At the start of the chorus, the viewer half-expects the tension to be broken by the sudden loosening of ties or taking off of jackets with an accompanying eruption into a flash mob. However, the viewer is bitterly disappointed. Check out the video here. If you are able to endure the uncomfortable suspense of the almost four minute clip, props to you, mate!