Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Jul 6th 2010 5:45AM by Matt Glazebrook
A judge in Sydney had previously ruled that the iconic flute melody from Men at Work's 1983 booze-and-backpacking smash 'Down Under' was borrowed from a 1934 Australian children's song called 'Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.' However, the newly announced penalty imposed by the Federal Court on the Aussie pop-rockers has turned out to be far lower than 'Kookaburra''s publishers initially sought, The Guardian reports.
Peter Jacobson ruled that Men at Work songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert must pay Larrikin Music five per cent of the royalties earned by the song -- with the statute of limitations meaning the judgment only applies to money acquired from 2002 onwards. Larrikin, which holds the copyright to the campfire singalong, initially hoped to shake down the St. Kilda-based band for 60 per cent of 'Down Under''s profits.
"I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic," Jacobson wrote explaining his decision. Then he smiled, and gave them a Vegemite sandwich. Possibly.