Men At Work Loses Appeal

Men At Work and their record company EMI lost an appeal against a finding last year that the band’s chart-topping 1980s hit “Down Under” ripped off a 1930s Australian children’s song in its flute riff.

EMI claimed in its appeal that the inclusion in “Down Under” of two bars of the song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree” was a well intentioned tribute to the Australian-ness of the Men At Work tune.

It also argued, in its appeal filed in February, that the similarities between the two songs had gone unnoticed for many years.
But the Federal Court dismissed the appeal March 31, saying that EMI had to pay the court costs of “Kookaburra” publisher Larrikin Music.

Now the original Federal Court judge, Peter Jacobsen, will have to work out how much Larrikin will receive in damages.
Larrikin previously asked for royalties from “Down Under” for the past nine and a half years.

The track continues to be played on radio and appears on compilations but how much it now generates per year is not known.