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Sony Loses Lawsuit For Stealing "Down Under"

February 4. 2010

1980's "Down Under" By Men At Work:

 

Sony Music has lost a lawsuit for stealing the 1980's hit "Down Under" by band Men At Work. The court has ruled the song illegally infringes the preexisting tune "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree." When one listens to both songs back to back, one can hear the infringements.

 1940's "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree"

(Please excuses the beeps someone included in the song as a joke, as there is no profanity in it):

Court says '80s hit `Down Under' copies kids' song

Feb 4, 4:38 PM (ET) - SYDNEY (AP) - 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, a court ruled Thursday.

"Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition, and the song has been a favorite around campfires from New Zealand to Canada.

The teacher died in 1988, and publishing company Larrikin Music owns the copyright to her song about the native Australian bird. Larrikin filed the copyright lawsuit last year.

"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," Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson said.

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 Music Entertainment and EMI Songs Australia...

http://apnews.myway.com

 

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