6 Jul 2010

Band ordered to pay 5% of song royalties

6:13 pm on 6 July 2010

Men at Work have been ordered to pay 5% of royalties for plagiarising part of their song "Down Under".

The Federal Court ruled in February that the band plagiarised part of "Down Under", which was written in 1979 but only became a worldwide hit after a flute riff was added two years later.

The ABC reports that Larrikin Music accused the Australian band of stealing the riff from the children's song "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree".

"Kookaburra" was written by Melbourne teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides jamboree in 1934 and has been sung by generations of Australian children ever since.

Larrikin, which owns the rights to the song, has been seeking compensation. At one point, it sought up to 60% of the song's profits as compensation.

On Tuesday in Sydney, a judge described that request as "excessive". Instead, Men At Work have been ordered to pay Larrikin 5% of future profits, as well as profits dating back to 2002.