Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Speaking of reasons to despise the music industry, I heard a report on NPR tonight that got me pig-bitin' mad.

Weasels in the Land Down Under!

It seems some Australian music publishing company is suing Colin Hay and Ron Strykert of the early '80s band Men at Work claiming copyright violation. Oh no, did The Men steal "Down Under" from somewhere?

Well, not the whole song. But if you listen close to a little flute part between verses you'll hear a little snatch of "Kookaburra" -- you know, the kiddie song about the bird who sits in the old gum tree.

Apparently that's a copyrighted song, written by an Australian school teacher in 1934. In the NPR piece you'll hear an Aussie lawyer explain, "Kookaburra' is a four-bar song. Over half that song is used in 'Down Under,' which is the test of law."

As NPR reporter Neda Ulaby points out, half of four bars is two bars!

Next we'll hear that Larrikin Music Publishing is coming after this little music pirate.

And here's The Men from the early days of MTV:

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