Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Men at Work 'plundered' "Down Under"

From the BBC, a surprise:
Men At Work lose plagiarism case in Australia

Men At Work
Men At Work had two number one singles in the US

The Australian band Men at Work are facing a big legal bill after a court ruled it had plagiarised a Girl Guides' song in its 1983 hit, Down Under.

Larrikin Music had claimed the flute riff from the 1981 hit was stolen from Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, written by Marion Sinclair in 1934.

The federal court in Sydney ordered compensation to be paid.

That amount has yet to be determined but Larrikin's lawyer said it could reach 60% of income from the song.

"It's a big win for the underdog," said Larrikin's lawyer Adam Simpson after the judgment.

Sinclair, who died in 1988, wrote the song for performance at a Girl Guides Jamboree in 1935.

Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree has since been sung by generations of Australian schoolchildren....(source)

I really liked this song, so before it disappears under the weight of royalty judgements, or some such thing, here it is. Sing along, why don't you?

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