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Men at Work to pay for borrowed flute riff

July 6, 2010 at 1:17 PM

SYDNEY, July 6 (UPI) -- The pop band Men at Work has been ordered to pay a music publishing company 5 percent of the royalties it earned in Australia for its song "Down Under."

A judge said Tuesday the group must pay Larrikin Publishing because it borrowed without permission a flute riff from the popular Australian nursery rhyme "Kookaburra," penned by the late Marion Sinclair in 1932, CNN said. Sinclair died in 1988.

Larrikin holds the copyright to the "Kookaburra" but did not became aware of the similarities between it and 1981's "Down Under" until they were compared on a game show in 2007, the U.S. news agency said.

Tuesday's ruling regarding payment followed a February decision by Federal Court Judge Peter Jacobsen, who found the flute riff featured in "Down Under" was similar to that in "Kookaburra" but that it is not "a substantial part of 'Down Under' or that it is the 'hook' of that song."

CNN did not say what the estimated amount of the damages is.

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