National Party lawyers want Eminem case split

Judge describes the case as unusual.

The legal battle between the National party and rapper Eminem continued today, as lawyers for the political party want the trial separated into two cases — liability and damages.

Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, the Detroit-based publishers of the rapper's music, filed proceedings in the Wellington High Court in 2014, seeking damages for copyright infringement against the National Party.

The publishers claim the song used in an election campaign ad by the National Party is a rip off of Eminem's 'Lose Yourself,' which features in the rapper's '8 Mile' movie.

In the High Court at Wellington today, National Party lawyer Greg Arthur told Justice Brendan Brown time would be saved by splitting the case into two, one for damages and one for liability, the New Zealand Herald reports.

The lawyer said liability should be established before damages and it could be dealt with in two weeks or more. Calculating damages “wasn’t straightforward,” he said.

The publishing companies’ lawyer Garry Williams pushed back, saying a single trial would be enough to deal with all issues.

Justice Brown reserved his decision and wants the parties to come up with a resolution by March 23. He said the case was unusual.

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