The Down Under book and film remind us our copyright law’s still unfair for artists

Choi, Rachel & Suzor, Nicolas P. (2015) The Down Under book and film remind us our copyright law’s still unfair for artists. The Conversation.

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Australian copyright law is broken, and the Australian Government isn’t moving quickly to fix it.

Borrowing, quoting, and homage are fundamental to the creative process. This is how people are inspired to create. Under Australian law, though, most borrowing is copyright infringement, unless it is licensed or falls within particular, narrow categories.

This year marks five years since the very real consequences of Australia’s restrictive copyright law for Australian artists were made clear in the controversial litigation over Men at Work’s 1981 hit Down Under. The band lost a court case in 2010 that found that the song’s iconic flute riff copied some of the 1934 children’s song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree.

A new book and documentary tell us more about the story behind the anthem – and the court case. The book, Down Under by Trevor Conomy, and the documentary, You Better Take Cover by Harry Hayes, bring renewed interest and new perspectives on the tragic story.

Impact and interest:

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Full-text downloads:

47 since deposited on 29 Jul 2015
20 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 86070
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Keywords: Copyright, Artists, Men at Work, Down Under, Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree, Trevor Conomy, Harry Hayes, Fair use
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Digital Media Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Rachel Choi & Nicolas Suzor
Deposited On: 29 Jul 2015 22:51
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2015 22:51

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