- Associated Press - Thursday, October 6, 2011

SYDNEY (AP) - Australian rockers Men at Work have lost their final court bid to prove that the distinctive flute riff of their 1980s hit “Down Under” was not copied from a 70-year-old children’s campfire song.

The High Court of Australia on Friday denied the band’s bid to appeal a federal court judge’s ruling that “Down Under’s” flute melody was copied from the song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.”

“Kookaburra” was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair. The song has become a favorite around campfires from New Zealand to Canada.

Sinclair died in 1988 and publishing company Larrikin Music now holds the copyright to the song. Larrikin filed the copyright lawsuit in 2009.

A lawyer for Men at Work’s recording company called Friday’s decision disappointing.


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