SHORT of inane chants of ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi’, no tune is more likely to get an Australian puffing out his or her chest with more pride than cheesy Eighties Men At Work classic, Down Under.
But the band, who gained prominence with a residency at the Cricketers Arms Hotel in Melbourne, have been found guilty of plagiarising part of the song, with the famous flute riff at the beginning judged to have been stolen from the children’s song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.
In February, Larrikin Music, which now owns the rights to Kookaburra, filed a claim for 60 percent but a Sydney judge last week ordered the band to cough up five percent of royalties dating back to 2002 and any future earnings.
Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson said: “I’ve come to the view that the appropriate figure … is five per cent.
“In my opinion the figures put forward by Larrikin are over-reaching, excessive and in my view unrealistic.”
When calculating the percentage, Jacobson said he had to look at the weight of “the significance of the bars of Kookaburra to the overall musical qualities of Down Under”.