Move over James Corden and Adele, there are some new carpool karaoke divas on the scene in the form of National leader Simon Bridges and MP Chris Bishop - but the promotional stunt may land them in legal strife.

Dashcam footage of the National Party colleagues driving to Parliament was uploaded to Simon Bridges' Facebook page on Wednesday, and it provides a brief insight into the musical tastes of the pair.

But, the video intended to showcase more of the personal side of the senior National MPs may land their Party in copyright hot water, as a string of famous tunes are played through the stereo of Bishop's fully electric Nissan LEAF.

Within the three minute clip, songs from music industry heavyweights Elton John, Pearl Jam and Franz Ferdinand are played.


When contacted by the Herald today, National's chief press secretary Michael Fox said they had now taken down the video as a "precaution".

"Our view is the songs were covered under the fair use and incidental use provisions in the Copyright Act because the music was being played in the background and only for the purposes of review," Fox said.

But Copyright lawyer Kevin Glover said there was no such thing as a "fair use" defence in New Zealand and the more appropriate defences would be "incidental copying" or "fair dealing".

Glover said the music - chosen by Bridges - appeared to have been deliberately included in the recording so would not meet the standard for "incidental copying".

Glover said the "fair dealing" defence could apply, as it allowed exceptions for those who were offering a critique or review of music, so as to allow short excerpts and commentary about the music.

"The risk on this is, I suppose, they are not talking about the merits of the music but their memories," Glover said.

Baldwin's copyright lawyer Paul Johns agreed any copyright defence based on "incidental use" was flimsy.

"In my view if you're playing a song, even if it's at a background level but you're doing so deliberately, then there's a pretty good argument that's going to be an infringement, because it's not incidental to have the sounds there on purpose, that's the opposite of incidental, that's deliberate," Johns said.


"I don't think that posting video for obviously political purposes, trying to make themselves more relatable perhaps - they're not reviewing or criticising, they are trying to improve their public image.

"They could argue it, but I don't think they would be able to win on that one.

"The other aspect of this is, because it's political a lot of musical artists don't like their work to be used for political purposes, no matter where you sit on the political spectrum, and that was an element in the Eminem case."

In October 2017, the National Party was found guilty of breaching copyright by using Eminem's track Lose Yourself for a 2014 election ad and ordered to pay $600,000.

The High Court awarded Eight Mile Style, the publisher of the hit song, damages, plus interest from June 28, 2014.

Bridges' and Bishop's carpool playlist

In the latest incident, the three minute video begins with Bridges announcing "we're in the Chris-mobile mate" which Bishop assures in true Blues Brothers fashion has "quite good pickup".

The first song Bishop has playing on his stereo is Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out, and it instantly triggers a memory from Bridges' wild days at Oxford University where he completed a Bachelor of Civil Law in the early 2000s.

"Franz Ferdinand, now this takes me back to Oxford University 2004," Bridges says.

"I lived next to all these crazy guys. The guy on one of my sides, he just played this non-stop 24/7 and it annoyed me.

"I used to have to bang on his door to tell him to turn it down about 3am. But now today, funnily enough it gives me good memories. Good times, simpler times, in life."

For Bishop too the tune was a fixture of his youth.

"See I remember it, that was my first year at uni, 2003, 2004," Bishop says.

Bridges interjects: "You're younger than you look.

"I am younger than I look," Bishop laughs.

"I remember it, first year uni, this was the song you would go out dancing and stuff, or the clubs and stuff. It was big. Can you play it on the drums?"

Bridges can, and demonstrates.

Also on the playlist is Blue Eyes by Elton John, which Bridges "has always loved' but Bishop doesn't even know.