Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Men in Work told to pay up for plagiarism

The composers of the Australian produced smash hit Down Under have been asked to pony up royalties for their song, which infringes on the copyright with regard to a flute riff that the composers, Men at Work, blatantly ripped off a classic Australian children's song.

However, despite the controversy within the local recording industry in Australia, it has been revealed that the amount the group will have to pay is looking to be much less than originally thought.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson in February ruled that the famous flute riff from Men at Work's 1980s song was the same as the children's tune, Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.
Music publisher Larrikin Music holds the copyright for the original melody, which was penned more than 75 years ago by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.
In a judgment released in the Federal Court in Sydney today, Justice Jacobson ordered music group EMI and Down Undersongwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert to pay Larrikin 5 percent of royalties from the song dating back to 2002 and on royalties from future earnings.
The total amount the group must pay, however, is yet to be fully calculated.  Watch the actual music video after the jump.

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