Friday, February 5, 2010

“Kookaburra” is a Winner in Australian Court

MSNBC is reporting that Australian band Men at Work copied a well-known children’s campfire song for the flute melody in its 1980s hit “Down Under” and owes the owner years of royalties. “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree” was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition. Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson said,
“I have come to the view that the flute riff in “Down Under” ... infringes on the copyright of Kookaburra because it replicates in material form a substantial part of Ms. Sinclair’s 1935 work,”
He ordered the parties back in court Feb. 25 to discuss the compensation Larrikin should receive from songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert and Men at Work’s record companies Sony/BMG Entertainment and EMI. Justiced served! In other news, I do still think "Down Under" is a worthy jam.