Clive Palmer Loses Twisted Sister Copyright Case & Ordered To Pay $1.5 Million In Damages

30 April 2021 | 11:42 am | Staff Writer

Clive Palmer has lost a long-running court battle in court against US band Twisted Sister.

Clive Palmer has lost a long-running battle against US rock band Twisted Sister and has been ordered to pay $1.5 million in damages.

In 2019, Twisted Sister demanded Palmer stop using a re-written version of their 1984 hit We're Not Gonna Take It in a TV campaign for the United Australia Party, to which Palmer responded by threatening his own lawsuit against the rockers.

As ABC reports, Justice Anna Katzmann today ruled that Palmer had infringed the copyright, writing, 

"Mr Palmer's use of [the song] was opportunistic.

"He saw political and personal advantage in both its notoriety or popularity and the message it conveyed and he thought that he could get away with using it merely by altering some of the words.

"He was wrong."

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Frontman Dee Snider publicly slammed Palmer at the time saying during an appearance on Today in 2019, "[Palmer] is breaking the law, he's a common criminal in my opinion, and he's stealing my music".

While Palmer claimed he has not lifted the band's song illegally, lawyers representing Universal Music Publishing (license owners of We're Not Gonna Take It) filed papers in Federal Court back in February 2019.

Taking to Twitter today, Snider said, "It's over baby! WE WON BIG!!

Palmer’s lawyers claimed that his use of the song falls into "satire or parody", while also suggesting that the melody of We're Not Gonna Take It was based on Christmas carol, O Come, All Ye Faithful, however, Snider stated that the songs had different rhythms and the band’s hit single only drew inspiration from the classic hymn.

In her judgment, Katzmann ruled that Palmer had originally attempted to pay the licensing fee for We're Not Gonna Take It, but "baulked" at the $150,000 fee and counter-offered $35,000.

According to The Guardian, Palmer has been ordered to remove all versions of the song, including videos, from the internet.