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  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    04 Feb '10 03:44
    Aussie pop group Men at Work ripped off an Australian folk tune in their 1980s smash hit Down Under, a federal court judge has found.

    Justice Peter Jacobson said the famous flute riff from the pop hit was unmistakably the same as the children's tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, penned more than 75 years ago by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.

    Article: http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/6760489/men-at-work-ripped-off-folk-tune-judge/

    Is this fair dinkum or is it a bit crook or lurk?
  2. 04 Feb '10 07:33
    I would say: let the copyright on intellectual property like music expire after 10 years. The current restrictive policy also restrics creativity.
  3. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    04 Feb '10 12:43 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Aussie pop group Men at Work ripped off an Australian folk tune in their 1980s smash hit Down Under, a federal court judge has found.

    Justice Peter Jacobson said the famous flute riff from the pop hit was unmistakably the same as the children's tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, penned more than 75 years ago by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl ...[text shortened]... 89/men-at-work-ripped-off-folk-tune-judge/

    Is this fair dinkum or is it a bit crook or lurk?
  4. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    04 Feb '10 13:07
    Originally posted by FMF
    Is this fair dinkum or is it a bit crook or lurk?
    Fair suck of the sav Bruce!

    In distantly unrelated news a class action brought to the US Supreme Court by the heirs and sucessors of Bo Didley, Robert Johnson, Lead Belly and John Lee Hooker against the American Rock industry is set to cause a stir.

    If the same rules of forfeiture for ill gotten gains that apply to drug cartels are upheld, then we might see a long line form to the left of the Rolling Stones and Co. These living living fossils may yet all have to declare chapter 11
  5. 04 Feb '10 13:10
    Originally posted by FMF
    Aussie pop group Men at Work ripped off an Australian folk tune in their 1980s smash hit Down Under, a federal court judge has found.

    Justice Peter Jacobson said the famous flute riff from the pop hit was unmistakably the same as the children's tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, penned more than 75 years ago by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl ...[text shortened]... 89/men-at-work-ripped-off-folk-tune-judge/

    Is this fair dinkum or is it a bit crook or lurk?
    mmm i listened to the two, and i dunno if there is a clear resemblance or not, i really wondered how it was decided. Is it acknowledged by men at work that they indeed borrowed the tune. Its a pity because the version of the song that they had apparently borrowed was school children singing in a choir and it was not that apparent to my ears, but hey, thats nothing to go by.
  6. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    04 Feb '10 13:26
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    mmm i listened to the two, and i dunno if there is a clear resemblance or not, i really wondered how it was decided. Is it acknowledged by men at work that they indeed borrowed the tune. Its a pity because the version of the song that they had apparently borrowed was school children singing in a choir and it was not that apparent to my ears, but hey, thats nothing to go by.
    the link is considered prime rock trivia in this country having featured as a question on a rock quiz program called Spics and Specs. In fact its suggested that the linking of these two seemingly unrelated musical sequences on a comic rock quiz may have even precipitated interest in persuing this claim in court in the first place.


    Given that this was a girl scouts tune of the 30's which by the 80's would have seeped into the subconscious of many, unless the Men at Work songwriters explicity admit that they admired the phrase so much that they actively set about incorporating it into their song because of the obvious pervasive influence that this buried subliminal imprint would exercise over the greater Aussie zeitgeist, then I would think a perfect appeal would point out the impossibility of not being able to duplicate someones previous work in any new work given the constrainsts of western musical forms and low statistical probability of finding genuinely new sequences in any anthemic call to arms rock riff.
  7. 04 Feb '10 13:28
    Originally posted by FMF
    Aussie pop group Men at Work ripped off an Australian folk tune in their 1980s smash hit Down Under, a federal court judge has found.

    Justice Peter Jacobson said the famous flute riff from the pop hit was unmistakably the same as the children's tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, penned more than 75 years ago by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl ...[text shortened]... 89/men-at-work-ripped-off-folk-tune-judge/

    Is this fair dinkum or is it a bit crook or lurk?
    Sounds like trivia not worth further consideration.
  8. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    04 Feb '10 13:35
    Originally posted by Leon Alvarado
    Sounds like trivia not worth further consideration.
    thanks for that....duly noted.....we'll crack on with something else then?
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    04 Feb '10 14:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I would say: let the copyright on intellectual property like music expire after 10 years. The current restrictive policy also restrics creativity.
    I would say: Before you engage in commerce in a country, make sure you're following that country's intellectual property laws. Or, if you don't, live with the consequences.

    I never heard of either song so I can't get into specifics in this particular case.

    If I were writing intellectual property laws, though, I agree with you that there should be some limit; though I think 10 years is too short. Should someone be able to start publishing the first Harry Potter books now without the consent of the publisher or author? It's been more than 10 years. Maybe 25 years.
  10. 04 Feb '10 14:47
    Originally posted by FMF
    Aussie pop group Men at Work ripped off an Australian folk tune in their 1980s smash hit Down Under, a federal court judge has found.

    Justice Peter Jacobson said the famous flute riff from the pop hit was unmistakably the same as the children's tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, penned more than 75 years ago by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl ...[text shortened]... 89/men-at-work-ripped-off-folk-tune-judge/

    Is this fair dinkum or is it a bit crook or lurk?
    It's a great song though, written by a Scot of course.
  11. 04 Feb '10 16:09 / 1 edit
    One of the big problems is that zillions of songs have been written over the last century.

    I'm sure you could take ANY melody or riff and if you were to do a comprehensive search of all melodies ever written within the last 100 years, you could probably find something, somewhere that would roughly match it.

    And now that almost all recently written melodies are probably on the internet somewhere, there's going to more of these "copyright violations". You're going to find just about every song on the charts will be remarkably similar to something, somewhere, posted by someone on You Tube.
  12. 04 Feb '10 16:57
    means big bucks to Marion Sinclair (or her estate, more likely).
  13. 04 Feb '10 17:07
    Originally posted by sh76
    I would say: Before you engage in commerce in a country, make sure you're following that country's intellectual property laws. Or, if you don't, live with the consequences.

    I never heard of either song so I can't get into specifics in this particular case.

    If I were writing intellectual property laws, though, I agree with you that there should be some lim ...[text shortened]... thout the consent of the publisher or author? It's been more than 10 years. Maybe 25 years.
    The exact time span is debatable, and there is a difference between music and prose as well, of course. However, at the very least the rights should expire after the creator dies and also not be tradeable, I mean what do the descendents of Elvis Presley have to do with his music? And what did Michael Jackson have to do with the Beatles?
  14. 05 Feb '10 06:08
    Originally posted by kmax87
    the link is considered prime rock trivia in this country having featured as a question on a rock quiz program called Spics and Specs. In fact its suggested that the linking of these two seemingly unrelated musical sequences on a comic rock quiz may have even precipitated interest in persuing this claim in court in the first place.


    Given that this was a g ...[text shortened]... istical probability of finding genuinely new sequences in any anthemic call to arms rock riff.
    yes i read that, however from the kids singing and the men at work song its fairly difficult i think to make a connection, otherwise it may be construed that all music is essentially related in that while the variations of notes in the musical sequence are infinite and which indeed give the music its character, the notes themselves are commonly shared. id just like to hear the simply melody of both the tunes to make a comparison.
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    05 Feb '10 08:47
    Originally posted by The Snapper
    It's a great song though, written by a Scot of course.
    Have a listen to Colin Hay's "Peaks & Valleys" from 1992 - 1 guitar & 1 voice. Nice stuff. The other one I rate highly is 2001's similarly stripped down "Going Somewhere".