by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 7th 2011 3:04pm
More copyright insanity coming from down under. As you may recall, a couple years ago, the music publisher Larrikin sued for copyright infringement over the 80s pop hit Down Under by the band "Men at Work," claiming that it infringed on a classic Australia folk song, called Kookaburra. It seemed odd that it would take decades for anyone to make this claim, and even the boss at Larrikin only noticed it when an Australian quiz show mentioned it in a question. Then, suddenly, Larrikin wanted to get paid. The district court sided with Larrikin as did the appeals court. Now, as a bunch of you have been sending in, Australia's high court is refusing to hear the appeal, meaning the appeals court ruling stands... and apparently a big chunk of royalties from the pop song will be going to Larrikin -- who had nothing to do with the song and didn't even notice the weak connection until someone pointed it out.
At best, the Men at Work song is an homage to the folksong. All this ruling has done is demonstrate how copyright can be used to put a toll on culture.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Warner Music's Response To Evidence Of Happy Birthday In The Public Domain: Who Really Knows Anything, Really?
- Study Of Spain's 'Google Tax' On News Shows How Much Damage It Has Done
- Australian Police Raid Bookseller Over Copies Of A Book First Published 24 Years Ago
- Appeals Court Rejects Labels' Collusion Scheme To Try To Force Pandora To Pay Higher Rates
- Major Record Labels Use Lawsuit Against MP3Skull To Try To Backdoor In SOPA