They’re Not Gonna Take It! Clive Palmer Must Pay $1.2 Million Over Twisted Sister Copyright Claim

They’re Not Gonna Take It! Clive Palmer Must Pay $1.2 Million Over Twisted Sister Copyright Claim
B&T Magazine
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Ex-politician Clive Palmer has been ordered to pay band Twisted Sister $1.5 million over his use of their anthem We’re Not Gonna Take It in a campaign video.

Universal Music sued Palmer (pictured above in a campaign poster) after he rewrote lyrics to the song in advertising for the United Australia Party back in 2019.

Back in October, Palmer was accused of giving false evidence to the court over the song. He claimed to have written the lyrics in 2018 while he was “deep in contemplation”, and also said the lyrics were inspired by Network, a 1976 film.

In the film, there is the line “I’m not going to take this anymore.”

The court also heard that Palmer’s team had ended negotiations over a license to use We’re Not Gonna Take It in a campaign video due to issues over the cost.

Dee Snider, Twisted Sister’s frontman, told the court in October that Palmer’s use of the song “was not good for [his] heavy metal image.”

Where the original song’s chorus says, “we’re not gonna take it, no we’re not gonna take it”, the United Australia Party’s chorus sings, “Australia’s not gonna cop it, no Australia’s not gonna cop it.”

On Friday, Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann ruled that Palmer did in fact infringe on copyright to the song. She did not accept the argument that he had used the melody of hymn O Come, All Ye Faithful, and written his own lyrics to the song.

In an interview with Goldmine magazine, Snider said that a friend had pointed out that the song “had borrowed some of its melody from O Come, All Ye Faithful,” citing his years of performing in church choir.

According to court statements made by Palmer, copyright payments were deserved by “the poor monk who wrote the melody [to the hymn]”.

In her ruling, Justice Katzmann wrote that Palmer “was an unimpressive witness. In significant respects his evidence was inconsistent with the contemporaneous records and the evidence of both Mr Wright and Mr McDonald.”

“It is sufficient to observe at this point that he was an unreliable witness whose evidence was at times incredible.”

She also wrote that “there could be no doubt that Mr Palmer intended to, and did, derive a political benefit from the unauthorised use of the copyright works.”

Palmer must now pay $500,000 damages and $1 million damages due to the flagrancy of the infringement. He will also have to pay legal costs.

Snider has tweeted in celebration since the ruling.

Palmer recently had his proposal for a coal mine near the Great Barrier Reef turned down by the Queensland government. In October 2020, the Australian Financial Review named him the eighth richest Australian.

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