Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Men at Work plagiarism sick outcome: Screw Larrikin and screw the court

So, yesterday the Oz band Men at Work lost their final opportunity for appeal against the claim by the inappropriately-named Larrikin music publisher that the band had plagiarized a riff from a 1930s classic folk song called "Kookaburra". Larrikin acquired the rights to the song in 2000 and had no notion of any possible similarity between the chart topping song and the old folk song until a comment was made in a quiz show. That great supporter of establishment capitalism and so-called intellectual property, the Australian High Court, yesterday ruled against an appeal by Men at Work.

Michele hummed the Kookaburra song through to me and, as any number of sites on the web affirm, if you strain hard you can detect a bit of a similarity -- trifling. It would be like saying something who wrote a song containing in a sequence in the middle of that song the first 3 notes of Baa Baa Black Sheep had committed a plagiarism. Something that runs so deep in the popular culture of a society is bound to carry over into other productions -- as happened here with the injection of two bars into the recorded version of the song by the flutist. It is almost impossible to avoid such enculturation spilling over into what we produce as cultural beings in our own creativity. In any event, why would we not wish to celebrate aspects of our cultural heritage in our productions? How better can one pay respect to one's heritage?

I would like to think that cases like this could eventually provide the basis for smashing the contemporary opportunistic pecuniary-inspired fetish for intellectual property.

However, I am not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, all I can do is express my deepest wish for the music publisher and the wigged clowns who uphold such opportunistic grabs at the rewards for popular creative efforts by others ....

Disappear, you bastards!!!!

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