Men At Work Heading To Court For Song Theft Claim

(Billboard) A music publisher that has accused Australian band Men at Work of stealing the melody to their 1980s smash hit "Down Under" from a campfire song won the first stage of its lawsuit on Thursday (July 30) seeking royalties from the Aussie anthem.

A federal judge ruled that publisher Larrikin Music owns the copyright to the tune of "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" - a Girl Guide favorite from New Zealand to Canada. The judge's ruling clears the way for a further hearing about whether Men at Work is guilty of copyright infringement.

Larrikin claims the distinctive flute riff in "Down Under" was copied from the refrain of "Kookaburra," a song about the native Australian bird written in 1934 by a teacher named Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition. Sinclair died in 1988. - more on this story

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