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Men at Work to Pay for Borrowed Flute Riff
UPI ^ | July 6, 2010

Posted on 07/08/2010 12:36:49 AM PDT by nickcarraway

The pop band Men at Work has been ordered to pay a music publishing company 5 percent of the royalties it earned in Australia for its song "Down Under."

A judge said Tuesday the group must pay Larrikin Publishing because it borrowed without permission a flute riff from the popular Australian nursery rhyme "Kookaburra," penned by the late Marion Sinclair in 1932, CNN said. Sinclair died in 1988.

Larrikin holds the copyright to the "Kookaburra" but did not became aware of the similarities between it and 1981's "Down Under" until they were compared on a game show in 2007, the U.S. news agency said.

Tuesday's ruling regarding payment followed a February decision by Federal Court Judge Peter Jacobsen, who found the flute riff featured in "Down Under" was similar to that in "Kookaburra" but that it is not "a substantial part of 'Down Under' or that it is the 'hook' of that song."

CNN did not say what the estimated amount of the damages is.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: australia; copyright; copyrightlaw; downunder; menatwork; music; musicindustry

1 posted on 07/08/2010 12:36:53 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

This should be under ‘breaking news’ man. I always thought something was fishy about that riff.


2 posted on 07/08/2010 12:50:27 AM PDT by 999replies (Thune/Rubio 2012)
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To: 999replies

hmmmm, having to pay a royalty for barrowing from a nursery rhyme. Me thinks there are more that a few Rap groups that might be worried with this ruling.


3 posted on 07/08/2010 12:56:19 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience.)
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To: nickcarraway; a fool in paradise
Al Gore: "I want you to kookaburra my chakra down under in my vuvuzela"
4 posted on 07/08/2010 12:56:51 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

They deliberately put the flute riff in to assert their Australianess.


5 posted on 07/08/2010 1:01:29 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Just listend to the song on Youtube and it is definately full of flute


6 posted on 07/08/2010 1:10:38 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience.)
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To: nickcarraway

I wonder what kind of royalities they still receive for that song? I suspect the money is long gone and it will take many, many years to get 5% of the total of what it has made.


7 posted on 07/08/2010 1:21:29 AM PDT by Hugin (Remember the first rule of gunfighting...have a gun..-- Col. Jeff Cooper)
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To: Hugin
The 5% is not since it was first made, because of the statute of limitations. It's just for the six years prior to them filing this claim.

Also note that this publisher didn't buy the rights until after the songwriter had died, nearly a decade after the original release of "Down Under." That's probably a factor in why the judgment was so low and not the 40%-60% the publisher requested.

Of course, I am just speculating as a layman...I know nothing of Australian law except what I read in news reports.

8 posted on 07/08/2010 2:01:44 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: nickcarraway
They deliberately put the flute riff in to assert their Australianess.

Of course they did.

It's a shame that this didn't happen before Marion Sinclair passed away. I wonder if she ever commented on it. It's also a shame that this judgment is just going to the publishing house and not the Girl Guides...but I suppose that for the Girl Guides to get it, the judge would have to side with Men at Work and there'd be no judgment at all.

9 posted on 07/08/2010 2:03:11 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom; nickcarraway
nickcarraway>> They deliberately put the flute riff in to assert their Australianess.

gunsequalfreedom> Just listend to the song on Youtube and it is definately full of flute


10 posted on 07/08/2010 2:07:57 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows; 537cant be wrong; Aeronaut; bassmaner; Bella_Bru; ...

They bootlegged the riff old style...

They played it on an instrument.


11 posted on 07/08/2010 7:33:07 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
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To: Gondring

Time was songs written in 1932 would be public domain by now.

I loathe the corrupt entertainment industry which has bought the lawmakers.


12 posted on 07/08/2010 7:37:43 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
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To: a fool in paradise

This is Australian law.


13 posted on 07/08/2010 7:39:12 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: a fool in paradise
They bootlegged the riff old style...

LOL!

14 posted on 07/08/2010 7:39:45 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring

The laws are being changed globally.

In Europe rock and roll by Elvis, Little Richard, and others is now Public Domain. Same with the songs of Frank Sinatra.

All of that is changing because the damned Beatles didn’t earn enough from their songs in their day and the recordings are about to go P.D. in two years.

Good enough for other living artists, good enough for the British Invasion acts.


15 posted on 07/08/2010 7:49:26 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
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To: a fool in paradise

You’re right. I wasn’t clear. This is under Australian law, which used to be better...but with the fair trade agreement, the USA forced a change on them. My point is that it’s spreading, not just getting worse here. And I see that’s your point, too.


16 posted on 07/08/2010 8:02:57 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: nickcarraway

No worries, as long as they don’t mind being paid in Vegemite ...


17 posted on 07/08/2010 8:12:19 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; xrp; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

18 posted on 07/08/2010 8:14:02 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: nickcarraway
CNN did not say what the estimated amount of the damages is.

Other reports say it will be under a million Australian dollars.

19 posted on 07/08/2010 8:19:19 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: All

This crap is so tiresome.

“Oh gee! Didja hear that note? It sounds just like a note I played in my last song!”

I never saw the harm in Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” and I fail to see the harm expressed in “Down Under”. In both cases even if we accept that there is a similarity existing between the two tunes, the net result was an increase of plays for the “injured” source song.

Oh well, I guess it is the age of nit-picking...


20 posted on 07/08/2010 8:20:03 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

“hmmmm, having to pay a royalty for barrowing from a nursery rhyme. Me thinks there are more that a few Rap groups that might be worried with this ruling.”

If copyright law were rigorously enforced with regard to stuff like this, the entire genre of rap and hip-hop would cease to exist.


21 posted on 07/08/2010 9:03:56 AM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Hang in there, baby! November's comin'...)
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To: a fool in paradise

I know; it’s abhorrent how long copyright runs now. I always teach my law students how the founders specifically noted the rationale for intellectual property regulation in the Constitution: the rationale is for the promotion of progress. With copyright now generally running 95 years for corporate works of life of author plus 75, big entertainment has made it impossible for anyone alive at the time of the creation of a copyrighted work to create a derivative work...and thus “promote progress.”

Fifty-six years was plenty long for a copyright to run, as it did under the 1909 act. I’m glad we got rid of the renewal concept but copyright now is just ridiculously long, and it serves no one except big entertainment and heirs who should be working for a living anyway.


22 posted on 07/08/2010 12:51:55 PM PDT by cammie
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To: cammie

I should add “big entertainment has made it impossible for anyone to create a derivative work without paying big entertainment a license fee for the privilege.”


23 posted on 07/08/2010 12:54:12 PM PDT by cammie
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To: nickcarraway

24 posted on 07/08/2010 10:16:55 PM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013- The end of an error.)
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To: cammie
It serves no one except big entertainment and heirs who should be working for a living

This is but one more example of how structurally untenable our economy has become with to many folks trying to live off of the production of everyone else and too few actually producing anything that folks will elect to purchase with their own money of their own free will in an free market.

25 posted on 07/09/2010 3:50:12 PM PDT by AndyJackson
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