Copyright Infringement | Where to draw the line

So where do we draw the line? Or is it ludicrous to suggest that this metaphorical ‘line’ is under a protection policy which states: “Use by confused uni students may result in prosecution.” Whatever the case, as a society it is important to be vigilant in regards to copyright laws, and indeed the consequences of breaching these laws.

Men at Work’s classic worldwide hit ‘Down Under’ was subject to flaunted copyright laws after the High Court of Australia ruled the iconic flute riff within the song bared too much resemblance to the campfire folk song ‘Kookaburra’, written more than 70 years ago. Despite reassuring the public that the allegations made were “ridiculous”, Men at Work were ordered to pay 5% of all royalties made from the song after 2002.

Perhaps the most disappointing outcome of this case was the defamation of such an iconic Australian Band. Whilst Down Under remained a hit for 28 years, and aroused no suspicion, Larrakin music gained rights to Kookaburra 20 years after the death 0f the original composer Marion Sinclair in 1988. After this the company wasted no time in optimising an “unfair” and “harsh” case, as labelled by frontman Colin Hay, who insisted there was no intention of plagiarising.

So what’s the message here?

You wouldn’t steal a car (unless you didn’t mean to)
you wouldn’t steal a handbag (unless you didn’t realise)
you wouldn’t steal a television (unless you were unaware you were)
you wouldn’t steal a movie. (unless it unintentionally appeared on your screen)


About alexdebs

Second year Bachelor of Communications and Media studies student at the University of Wollongong. I am an aspiring journalist with a passion for sport, music and travel.
This entry was posted in BCM 112 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Copyright Infringement | Where to draw the line

  1. zoematina16 says:

    Thanks for this post! I found it particularly helpful in understanding the legal implications of plagiarism. The examples you have used were easy to understand and the justifications supported the overall point of this post. Great work!


  2. This is a great post! I had no idea about any of that example about the Men at Work and “down under”. Ridiculous that a record label can use such an iconic Australian song as a way to leech money for their own agenda. A classic example of big businesses using everything/ anything they can to increase profits, including using laws that were originally put in place to protect artists, against them! This post is very helpful in understanding the lecture content, Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenna says:

    Hey! This is a really informative, well written post that was easy to understand. I appreciated your use of examples such as the song by the Men at Work, which highlighted the often unfair outcome of copyright laws. I loved the inclusion of the piracy video, which we can all remember from when we were younger and resonates with us. Your added commentary to the video also reinforced how sometimes copyright infringement can often be unintentional especially today with the Internet allowing access to everything and thus creating ambiguity in regards to the ownership of works. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. alexdebs says:

    Many thanks for the responses guys! Much appreciated 🙂


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