This takes the cake for me in the bizarre world of “getting a piece of” just about anything through lawsuits. Men at Work has lost a lawsuit because the flute work of their 1980s hit song “Down Under” was “stolen” from a more than 50 year old Australian folk song – “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree.” And to me, it only sounds vaguely like the flute riff from “Down Under”… So what gives?
Now EMI Songs Australia has to pay 5% of the royalties from the song (earned since 2002 and from all future earnings) to Larrikin Music – the company who owns the copyright for the “Kookaburra” song. What’s even more bizarre is that Larrikin was asking for 60% of the royalties and they’re planning on appealing the ruling to get more of the pie.
Come on people… This is nuts.
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- AU Band Men At Work Owes Royalties On ‘Kookaburra’ (yro.slashdot.org)
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- Men At Work ordered to hand over royalties from ‘stolen’ hit Down Under (telegraph.co.uk)
- Men at Work Will Get to Keep Most of Their Money (nymag.com)
- Men At Work Told To Pay Down Under Royalties (news.sky.com)
- Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh (theage.com.au)
- Men at Work stars ordered to give up royalties (darkerme.com)
- Men At Work Ordered To Fork Over Five Percent Of “Down Under” Royalites (popcrunch.com)
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