Fears that 80s Australian act Men At Work, including Kilwinning-born singer-songwriter Colin Hay, could be bankrupted following a royalty dispute, have been alleviated.
A judge has ordered the band to pay 5% of earnings from No 1 hit single ‘Down Under’ since 2002, as well as future royalties.
However, this is a reduction from the 60% of royalties demanded by Larrikin Music, which owns the copyright to ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’. They had claimed that ‘Down Under’s flute riff was copied from the 1934 song, written by Marion Sinclair.
A Sydney federal court judge ruled in February that the 1983 number one hit was a copy, but said that the 60% claim was “excessive and unrealistic”.