Published Feb 25, 2010In early February, an Australian court ruled in favour of music conglomerate Larrikin Music Group that the '80s pop band Men at Work allegedly plagiarized the flute riff of their hit "Down Under" from Marion Sinclair's original 1934 tune "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree."
Larrikin, which owned the rights to children's song, asked for a whopping 60 percent of all profit made by Men at Work from the song since 1981, when the song was originally released. Following the ruling, former Men at Work singer Colin Hay wrote a lengthy, scathing response that called Larrikin's filing "opportunistic greed" and predicted that "this ruling will have lasting repercussions, and I suspect not for the better."
Now, major recording label EMI is stepping into the fray. The company has launched an appeal against the ruling, stating that similarities between the two tracks were only audible to "the highly sensitized or educated musical ear," and that Men at Work's Colin Hay and Ron Strykert haven't breached copyright.
Sounds to us like EMI is trying to save another couple bucks, because god knows the label could use some.