A judge has ordered Men At Work to hand over royalties from the 1983 hit single Down Under after earlier ruling they had plagiarised a children’s song….Larrikin Music, which owns the copyright to Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, had sought 60% of royalties.
The company argued successfully that Down Under’s flute riff was stolen from Marion Sinclair’s original song.
Click on Quote to go to the site that has an embedded player. Ok, I kinda see where they get it, but since when does a very basic musical progression mean theft. This comedy routine comes to mind:
Hell Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and Ah-Ha’s “Take On Me” start with the same Arpeggio, and frankly I always wait with baited breath when I hear one of the two common songs on to see which one I’m currently listening to. But its a damn arpeggio the damn things practically occur out of the Ether in Nature!
We’re not talking about the fairly obvious plagiarism that came with the “I want a New Drug”/”Ghostbusters Theme” lawsuit.
I wonder if the Aussies are going to go after my favorite musician because he borrowed the chorus to one of their famous songs and slapped it on one of his own.
(BTW kinda neat how context changes the meaning of the same lyrics from the origonal Also “Waltzing Mathilda” is considered the unofficial National Anthem of Australia…how cool is that to say that about a song which is essentially about sticking it to the Man. Then again, I guess the same could be said about OUR National Anthem.)