Clive Palmer has been ordered to pay UK rockers Twisted Sister and Universal Music Publishing Group $1.5 million for his unauthorised mangling of the 1984 hit single ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’.
Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann ruled today that Palmer’s defence that his recording and that of Twsited Sister were independent was, “in the face of the evidence … with respect, ludicrous”, adding, “the notion that there is no causal connection between the UAP recording and WNGTI is fanciful.”
Katzmann was brutal in her ruling, saying: “He gave false evidence, including concocting a story to exculpate himself, indicating that the need for both punishment and deterrence is high.”
Katzmann also referred to Palmer’s “flagrant” disregard for copyright laws.
Palmer claimed the melody was derived from O Come All Ye Faithful, which is in the public domain, and that the words featured earlier than 1984, in rock opera Tommy. Both claims were rejected.
“I do not accept that Mr Palmer honestly believed at any relevant time that his use of the copyright works was lawful,” Justice Katzmann wrote.
“To the contrary, the objective evidence demonstrates that Mr Palmer actually believed that Universal held the copyright in the works, that he needed a licence to use them, and that he decided to go ahead without one because he was not prepared to agree to Universal’s terms. Mr Palmer’s conduct was high-handed and contemptuous.”
Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider also welcomed the findings.
FROM THE JUDGES DECISION IN FAVOR OF YOURS TRULY AND @UGM:
“The chorus of WNGTI, like the work as a whole, indisputably originated with Mr Snider and it has originality. A not inconsiderable amount of skill, judgement, time and effort was involved in its production.” – 
— Dee Snider🇺🇸 (@deesnider) April 30, 2021