With the producers of children's folk song Kookaburra currently suing Aussie rock group, Men At Work, in the Federal Court - claiming the band's iconic tune Down Under anthem ripped them off - Folklaw is this week revisiting some of the more interesting cases involving music icons waging copyright battles.
In a bid to prove to his wife that he can actually write music, truck-driver Mark O'Keefe last month took Australian artist Alex Lloyd to court claiming that the artist's hit song Amazing was actually his own work - written on the back of a coaster in a Balmain pub back in 1991. Unfortunately for O'Keefe, he failed to keep the beer coasters as a record of his involvement. The truck driver later withdrew the case - offering no explanation.
Kurt Cobain's legacy might live on in the garages of many grunge loving computer geeks through his appearance on GuitarHero 5, but Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, is not happy - declaring on Twitter in August that she's preparing to launch legal action against the game's creators, claiming she never agreed for her late husband to appear on the game. She seems particularly upset at the fact that computer gamers can have the Cobain avatar lip-synch to Bon Jovi.
Earlier this year, Ozzy Osbourne took aim at his former band-mate, Tony Iommi, in an effort to win back the trademark band name "Black Sabbath". Osbourne said in a statement released online that after so many changes to the band's original lineup that by the mid-1990s the brand of "Black Sabbath was literally in the toilet." Osbourne was upset that Iommi was continuing to tour under the name - even though, Osbourne said, he was reduced to playing only small shows in clubs. "I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way," he said.
The popular music sharing program Napster creating by a couple of over-achieving teenagers was brought to its knees in 2000, with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich filing a lawsuit in the California US District Court for copyright infringement. Three universities were named as a result of the lawsuit for copyright infringement for their role in housing the servers utilised by some users to share their music, but Metallica later withdrew the names from the infringement. Instead, they stepped up their campaign against Napster users, hiring an online firm to draw up a list of Napster users believed to be sharing Metallica music over one given weekend - resulting in more than 300,000 users being banned from the site. But Ulrich he may have later questioned just how worthwhile the process actually was, with the band receiving a negative backlash from Napster-loving fans.
Proving that aggressive lyrics isn't quite attention-seeking enough for heavy-metal group Rammstein, the band in 2006 found themselves facing possible legal action from a convicted cannibal who claimed that the band used his crimes and life to inspire one of one of their thundering classics, Mein Teil. Armin Meiwes' claims the band never asked if it could use his life-story in the song - notably the fact that he was convicted of eating a man he met online and sentenced to eight years in a German prison.
Avril Lavigne hit the courtroom to defend her track, Girlfriend following legal action launched by 70's band, The Rubinoos. The band, founded by Tommy Dunbar, claims that Lavigne's song sounds remarkably similar to that of their 1978 hit, "I want to Be your boyfriend".
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