The verdict is finally in! Universal won big and the judge crucified Clive. He might have saved over a million dollars if he had called us first. :-)

You’ll find the full transcript below:


Well, the verdict is in, and Universal Music absolutely smashed Clive Palmer in the copyright infringement case. I can’t say you heard it here first because it’s been splashed all over the front pages, but let’s have a look at it.

Boy, did they win big. An almighty thumping victory. A vindication of their decision to defend their writer and take on the king of litigation. The one with millions upon millions of dollars from mining royalties and an absolute passion for court cases. Now, in case you’re new here, I’ve done nine previous music copyright episodes last year, dissecting the cases presented by both sides, looking at the arguments for and against the idea that Clive infringed copyright. If you’re a litigation junkie or perhaps a copyright aficionado, then you should go back and watch them all. Hopefully, I’ll find the time to do a few more episodes going through and analyzing the court judgment.

But in the meantime, here are the highlights of the judge slamming Clive. She said it was “ludicrous and fanciful” that Clive’s version of the song was created independently. She said his behavior was “high-handed and contemptuous”, and he gave false evidence concocting a story. Strong words, your honor, but probably deserved in this case.

And I have to say, there was a huge sting in the tail. $500,000 in damages, which is probably what he should have paid for the synchronisation license fee if he’d bought it in the first place, maybe a little more. Then another million dollars in additional damages because of the flagrance of the violation. And then on top of that, legal costs for both parties, and then on top of that interest on everything. The really interesting question is whether Clive will appeal. Surely that’s central to his character, the love of the fight, the desire for a court battle with anybody and everybody. But then on the other hand, surely that would just be sending good money after bad?

Anyway, stay tuned. We’ll see what happens next. And in the meantime, try not to infringe anybody’s music copyright. If you need help with that, just give us a call.

Please contact us if you need help with music searches or licensing songs for advertising campaigns, or just want to chat about music and advertising. We would love to hear from you! About anything really.
bruce at

Credit: the opening and closing sequences feature “Strong Hands” from Ben Catley:
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