Kookaburra sits in the old gum treeee, merrily infringing

With all the fuss over the iiNet decision today, it might be easy to overlook another interesting copyright judgment that was handed down just a few metres away.

In Larrikin Music Publishing Pty Ltd v EMI Songs Australia Pty Ltd [2010] FCA 29, the owner of copyright in the children’s song ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’ successfully sued the Australian band Men at Work for infringing copyright in the musical work by reproducing the flute riff in its hit single, ‘Down Under’, which has become a kind of unofficial anthem for many Australians. Kind of ironic that the national spirit infringes copyright.

Update:The judgment has been released — more analysis coming soon.