Music

Clive Palmer’s Legal Feud With Twisted Sister Just Reached An Absurd New Low

Palmer now claims he came up with the song himself at 3am, when he was "deep in contemplation".

Clive Palmer is feuding with Twisted Sister

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Clearly, challenging Twisted Sister lead singer Dee Snider to a singing battle didn’t work, as today Clive Palmer had to front up to Federal Court to defend his unauthorised use of the ’80s band classic ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ in a political advertisement. He did so by claiming that the song featured in the ad was, in fact, an original.

The mining magnate and failed politician is currently being sued by Universal Music, who are accusing him of infringing copyright for his cover of ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ in a series of TV ads in January 2019. In the ad’s version, the lyrics are changed to “Australia ain’t gonna cop it”.

The band almost immediately denounced Palmer’s use, leading to a bit of a back-and-forth feud online: now, they’re in court. Yesterday, lead singer Dee Snider, via video conference, told the Federal Court that the song’s message was “misrepresented”, the rendition “awful” and that “Mr Palmer’s image is not good for my heavy metal image, either.”

Thursday was Palmer’s turn. As reported by SMH‘s Michaela Whitbourn, Palmer appeared via video conference to say he wrote the lyrics of his song ‘Aussies Not Gonna Cop It’ while “deep in contemplation” at 3am. They were scrawled on a notepad next to his bed, as “common for creative people” — unfortunately, he had no proof, as staff had thrown the note out. Oops!

He also claimed his inspiration wasn’t ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ but a line from 1976 film Network, also, for good measure, The Who’s rock opera Tommy. This floored Universal’s lawyer, who responded with “Those answers you just gave… are made up.” Palmer disagreed.

There was a slight issue with Palmer’s testimony: there’s a trail of evidence that a video producer working on Palmer’s campaign repeatedly tried to work with Universal for the track’s licensing rights. But Palmer says he wasn’t across this at all, despite there being emails between him the producer.

Palmer’s argument doesn’t discuss the song’s melody as he believes it’s a “rip off” of Christmas carol ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, which Snider told the court was a subconscious inspiration. He therefore only feels the need to defend the lyrics, which are obviously his own.

Palmer also said even if he did use Twisted Sister’s song, which he didn’t, it would be “parody or satire” and therefore fine. The dumb feud/multi-million dollar lawsuit continues.

In 2018, Palmer was in a similar feud with anarchist band Chumbawamba after he used their song ‘Tubthumping’ in a promotional video. In a letter to Palmer, the band said it was “a song written to champion the resilience of working people, not to further a billionaire’s political ambitions.”