On July 6, an Australian Federal Court Justice ruled that Australian band, Men at Work, had copied their signature flute riff on the 80's hit "Down Under" from a children's campfire song. The Australian children's song known as "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair.
The judge in the case ruled that Men at Work's recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, must pay 5 percent of royalties earned from "Down Under" since 2002 and from its future earnings to Larrikin Music, the publishing company which holds the copyright in "Kookaburra". Larrikin Music was originally asking for 60 percent of royalties earned.
A musical comparison between the flute riff from 'Down Under' and the melody to "Kookaburra" can be heard here.
Expect the dollar amount of 5 percent of such royalties to be in area of several hundred thousand dollars as Larrikin can only collect royalties since 2002.
For an excellent comparison of various "sound-alike" songs, check out this page from "JamsBio Magazine".