An Australian judge has ruled that 1980s hitmakers [lastfm]Men At Work[/lastfm] must share a portion of the royalties from their hit track “Down Under” with a children’s music publisher.
The ruling comes after publisher Larrikin Music came forward, accusing the band of stealing the flute solo in “Down Under” from a copyrighted track called “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.”
Justice Peter Jacobson of the Australian federal court has ruled that the band’s chief songwriters [lastfm]Colin Hay[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Ron Strykert[/lastfm] must also recoup the company for any royalties dating back to 2002.
According to a new report from the BBC, Larrikin purchased the rights to the song after its original composer [lastfm]Marion Sinclair[/lastfm] died in 1990. The publishing company reportedly asked for a whopping 60 percent of the publishing rights to “Down Under,” a request that was quickly rebuffed by Justice Jacobson.
“I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic,” Jacobson told the BBC.