Twisted Sister Wins $1.5m in “We’re Not Gonna Take It” Copyright Battle With Clive Palmer

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Submitted by karajayne on Sun, 05/02/2021 - 01:31

Twisted Sister Wins $1.5m in “We’re Not Gonna Take It” Copyright Battle With Clive Palmer

Posted 2 May 2021
dee snider
Dee Snider. Photo by Jordi Vidal/Redferns via Getty Images. 

It should’ve been obvious that the writer behind “We’re Not Gonna Take It” wasn’t going to cop a case of blatant copyright infringement on the chin – but for some reason, Clive Palmer thought he’d get away with it when he repurposed the 1984 Twisted Sister tune for his 2019 federal election campaign ads without permission (see here for a catch up)

Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t ended well for Clive! 


According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Palmer has been ordered to pay $1.5m for the illegal use of the Dee Snider-penned hit after a judge ruled he used the song’s rhythm and melody without permission for his (horrific) campaign song, “Australia’s Not Gonna Cop It” – with the lyrics "Australia ain't gonna cop it, no Australia's not gonna cop it, Australia's not gonna cop it anymore.” 

Palmer attempted to argue that his campaign song was of his own creation, inspired by the melody of the 18th-century Christmas carol "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful" and the lyrics were inspired by actor Peter Finch’s script in the 1976 film Network: “[I’m mad as hell, and] I’m not going to take this anymore.”

A statement from Snider clarified that the chorus melody of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was accidentally inspired by, and not a copy of, "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful" (which is not protected by copyright law). His team also provided evidence that Palmer had initially tried to license the Twisted Sister song and was quoted a fee of $150,000, to which he made a counteroffer of $35,000 that was rejected. 

Federal Court Judge Anna Katzmann said this proved Palmer knew he needed a license but "decided to go ahead without one.” She went on to describe Palmer’s claim that he had written the campaign anthem independently as “ludicrous" and "fanciful,” calling his use of the song “high-handed and contemptuous.” 

“He gave false evidence, including concocting a story to exculpate himself,” she said.

With a judgment that was clearly intended to set an example, Clive Palmer was ordered to pay $500,000 in damages and $1 million in additional damages and legal costs. According to Adam Simpson of Simpsons Solicitors, “The additional damages award of $1 million is one of the highest for copyright infringement in Australia, and the highest in relation to music copyright – and rightly so.” 

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Let’s celebrate with the classic 1984 music video for the one-and-only, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” 

Twisted Sister | “We're Not Gonna Take it” 


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