How I Met Your Mother Stole Aussie Song

16 March 2012 | 8:18 am | Staff Writer

Producers use Aussie song without permission.

Producers for popular US sitcom How I Met Your Mother have paid out Canberra band Tonk after using their song without permission.

The show, produced by the Fox network, used the song Golden Girl once in their sixth series and once in the seventh, both times being played by another band.

Golden Girl had been being shopped to American networks by American based agency Undercover Tracks, run by Isabel Pappani, who specialise in Australian music in the US.

After the story was revealed on triple j's Hack yesterday, drummer Tristan Davies told Your DailySPA that the process of getting financial reimbursement from Fox took, “About four or five months… Well, people were telling us about the song for a long time but no-one would give us the details of it. Eventually someone said 'season six episode six' so we looked it up and that's when we began the official side of things.”

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First the band “got in contact with [Pappani] and confirmed that they'd sent to song over to that particular network for that particular series. So that's when we confirmed that they had heard the song and it wasn't just a coincidence.”

From there they were able to themselves broker a deal with Fox with help from Pappani and local advice from friend and prominent manager Gregg Donovan (Grinspoon, Josh Pyke).

“There was a lot of back and forth initially, maybe they didn't understand the scope of what had happened and the length that we were prepared to go to,” Davies said. “After a few back and forths we ended up getting what we considered was a reasonable amount of compensation.”

He added, “Traditional licensing and syncing fees range from a thousand dollars to a couple of thousand dollars and we ended getting significantly more than that which is what we considered to compensate us for the loss of exposure and the trouble that we had to go through to sort it all out. At the end of the day they came around.”

The band never got the the bottom of why their track was re-recorded and the credit given to the show's music supervisor.

“We think they were maybe trying to protect the composer that did it, because he's quite a reputable person and has done a lot of work for them. So I don't know whether he just made a mistake or what-not, but they eventually came to the party.”

The band are currently “two thirds” of the way through a new album.

Watch the clip that the song features in below: