SOTD: Down Under – Men At Work

  1. Author
    sputnik 8 years ago

    Found out that the song was successfully sued for plagiarising the flute part in the song but I see hardly any similarity.

    “In June 2009, 28 years after the release of the recording, Larrikin Music sued Men At Work for copyright infringement, alleging that part of the flute riff of “Down Under” was copied from “Kookaburra”. The counsel for the band’s record label and publishing company (Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Songs Australia) claimed that, based on the agreement under which the song was written, the copyright was actually held by the Girl Guides Association.[21][22] On 30 July, Justice Peter Jacobson of the Federal Court of Australia made a preliminary ruling that Larrikin did own copyright on the song, but the issue of whether or not Hay and Strykert had plagiarised the riff was set aside to be determined at a later date.[23]

    On 4 February 2010, Justice Jacobson ruled that Larrikin’s copyright had been infringed because “Down Under” reproduced “a substantial part of Kookaburra”.[24]”

    “Since the verdict, Colin Hay has continued to insist that any plagiarism was wholly unintentional. He says that when the song was originally written in 1978, it did not have the musical passage in question, and that it was not until two years later, during a jam rehearsal session, that flautist Greg Ham improvised the riff, perhaps subconsciously recalling “Kookaburra”. Hay has also added that Ham and the other members of the band were under the influence of marijuana during that particular rehearsal. Greg Ham was found dead in Melbourne on 19 April 2012. In the months before his death, Ham had been despondent over the verdict, and convinced that “the only thing people will remember me for” would be the plagiarism conviction.” – From wikipedia

    Here are the videos of the supposed similarity.

  2. aryan 8 years ago

    This song having little similarity To Hotel California (Eagles)

  3. Suprabh 8 years ago

    I love this song …Extremely catchy music..


    I think the similarity is there…in that riff.

    • Author
      sputnik 8 years ago

      At first I thought there was no similarity based on the second video I posted and that the kids were just singing the song in that tune in the first video.

      But now I see the similarity too. The flute piece is a sped up version of that tune. At 50 seconds he is playing the flute sitting on the tree – its such a give away.

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