An elegy for Greg Ham: Copyright law, the Kookaburra case, and remix culture

Rimmer, Matthew (2012) An elegy for Greg Ham: Copyright law, the Kookaburra case, and remix culture. Deakin Law Review, 17(2), pp. 385-423.

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Abstract

The ‘Kookaburra’ case was a tragic and controversial copyright dispute, highlighting the need for copyright law reform by the Australian Parliament. In the Kookaburra case, a copyright action was brought by Larrikin Records against Men at Work’s song ‘Down Under’, alleging copyright infringement of the ‘Kookaburra’ song composed by Marion Sinclair. The dispute raised a host of doctrinal matters. There was disquiet over the length of the copyright term. There were fierce contests as to the copyright ownership of the ‘Kookaburra’ song. The litigation raised questions about copyright infringement and substantiality – particularly in relation to musical works. The ‘Kookaburra’ case highlighted frailties in Australia’s regime of copyright exceptions. The litigation should spur the Australian Law Reform Commission to make recommendations for law reform in its inquiry Copyright and the Digital Economy. This article provides a critical evaluation of the options of a defence for transformative use; a defence for fair use; and statutory licensing. The ‘Kookaburra’ case also examines the question of appropriate remedies in respect of copyright infringement. The conclusion considers the implications of the Kookaburra case for other forms of musical works – including digital sampling, mash-ups, and creative remixes. It finishes with an elegy for Greg Ham – paying tribute to the multi-instrumentalist for Men at Work.

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ID Code: 85320
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Copyright Law, Remedies,, Digital Sampling, Mash-ups, Remix, Fair Use, Statutory Licensing, Transformative Use, Copyright Term, Ownership, Infringement, Substantiality, Musical Works, Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Group
DOI: 10.21153/dlr2012vol17no2art85
ISSN: 1835-9264
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Matthew Rimmer
Deposited On: 25 Aug 2015 03:07
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2017 02:41

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