The Court of Appeal (New Zealand National Party v Eight Mile Style, LLC [2018] NZCA 596) has ruled that the National Party must pay Eight Mile Style, the production company of prominent rapper Eminem, damages of $225,000 for breaching the copyright of Eminem's song 'Lose Yourself'. This decision highlights the importance of including intellectual property (IP) indemnity clauses in a contract.

An IP indemnity is designed to protect against loss for a breach of another's IP rights. In this case, the National Party had bought the track 'Eminem Esque' to use in its 2014 election campaign advertisements. It relied on assurances from the licensor that it was not breaching copyright. The court found that using the track was, indeed, a breach of copyright. 

A well-drafted IP indemnity clause in the agreement between the National Party and the licensor may have enabled the National Party to seek to recover its loss from the licensor.

 

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