Australian band Men at Work lost a plagiarism suit in the federal court over a flute riff used in their 1982 hit single “Down Under’ today.
The federal court ruled that the riff was stolen from the earlier song ‘Kookaburra sits in an old gum tree’.
Last year, the court ruled that publisher Larrikin Music owned the copyright to the popular folk song, not the girl guide’s association.
Marion Sinclair wrote the song for the girl guides in 1935, but it was sold to Larrikin in 1990.
Larrikin Music’s lawyer Adam Simpson describes a ‘big win for the underdog’ over his opponents EMI and Men at Work.
Mr Simpson, asked about how much in royalties his clients wanted, said “Obviously, the more the better but it depends – anything from what we’ve claimed, which is between 40 and 60, and what they’ve suggested which is considerably less.