Australian court rules 80s hit copies children's song - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Australian court rules 80s hit copies children's song

SYDNEY (WKOW) -- An Australian judge has ruled against the band Men at Work in the case of a publishing company who claimed their 1980s hit "Down Under" copied a well-known children's song.

More than 70 years ago, a teacher named Marion Sinclair wrote the song "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" for a competition and the song has remained a campfire favorite around the world.

Sinclair died in 1988 and the publishing company Larrikin Music owns the copyright.

Larrikin argued the flue melody in "Down Under" took from "Kookaburra" and the judge ordered the parties back in court later this month to discuss compensation.

Larrikin's lawyers say the company may seek up to 60 percent of the royalties earned by songwriters Colin hay and Ron Strykert and Men at Work's record companies Sony BMG and EMI Songs -- an amount that could total millions.

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