AP Photo Greg Ham is pictured above on the far left. SYDNEY (AP) - Greg…
- Posted on Oct 7th 2011 1:00PM by Dan Reilly
Fotos International, Getty Images
According to AP, the band will have to fork over 5 percent of the royalties from its hit 'Down Under' after Australia's High Court ruled the songwriters copied the flute riff from the nursery rhyme 'Kookaburra.'
Written by teacher Marion Sinclair in 1934, 'Kookaburra' -- alternately known by its first line, "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" -- has become a favorite of children around the world. Though Sinclair died in 1988, publisher Larrikin Music currently owns the rights to the song and sued Men at Work in 2009.
After several appeals, the High Court upheld an earlier ruling saying that Men at Work's Colin Hay and Ron Strykert will have to pay 5 percent of any earnings on the song from 2002 on. The song was originally released in 1981 and became a No. 1 hit in Australia, the U.S. and England, but because of a statute of limitations, Larrikin couldn't recoup any money from before 2002.
Below, we have a video of schoolchildren singing 'Kookaburra' followed by Men at Work's 'Down Under.' Did the courts make the right call?