Struggling record label EMI was dealt another blow today when it lost an appeal against a Federal Court ruling which found that Men At Work’s 1981 iconic hit ‘Down Under’ had ripped off the melody from the kids song ‘Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree’. Publisher Larrikin Music had sought damages of 40-60% of royalties earned by the song, which was dismissed by the judge as “excessive, over-reaching and unrealistic”.
They were, however, ordered to pay 5% of earning plus royalties stretching back to 2002. The three judge panel dismissed EMI’s appeal on 14 different grounds, ordering that the record company pay the appeal court costs in addition to the potentially massive royalties it has to stump up to Larrikin Music.
This should ensure EMI’s bottom line financial results will make for interesting reading at the end of this financial year and next.