Judge rules 1980s hit song ‘stole’ riff from kids’ campfire tune
Australian pop group Men at Work have been told to hand over some of the royalties made from the song Down Under after a judge ruled part of the tune was copied from a children’s campfire song.
The 1983 hit tune features a flute riff that was found to have been taken from the children’s song Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gumtree. This song was penned by a teacher over 70 years ago for a Girl Guides competition, reports the Telegraph.
The band has been ordered by a federal court judge in Sydney, Australia, to hand over 5% of the royalties. Luckily for the pop group, this sum of money will be several hundred thousand dollars, not millions, because compensation only reaches back to 2002 under Australian law.
Sadly, neither the teacher who wrote the tune nor Girl Guides get any money - the copyright for the children's song was bought in 1990 for AUD $6,100 by a music label.
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