EMI has appealed against a court ruling that found Men at Work had plagiarized a children's song in their '80s hit "Down Under."

A Federal Court judge earlier this month found that Men At Work's popular tune had reproduced a "substantial part" of the "Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree," a Girl Guide campfire anthem.

Sydney-based music publisher Larrikin Music, which represents the popular "Kookaburra" song, launched compensation proceedings in 2008 claiming the flute refrain in "Down Under" infringed its copyright.

Federal Court Justice Peter Jacobson on Feb. 4 ruled in favor of Larrikin, a decision which cleared the way for the music publisher to recover damages from Men At Work's songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, EMI Songs Australia Pty Ltd and EMI Music Publishing Australia.

EMI now wants the ruling overturned. Papers filed today with the Federal Court in Sydney listed 14 grounds for appeal and claimed that Hay and Strykert did not breach copyright.

The music major argues that the disputed riff was no-more than a tribute to the original work, written in the 1930s by an Australian teacher Marion Sinclair.

A date for the appeal to be heard has not been set.

Men At Work became members of an elite circle of artists when in 1982 they secured simultaneous No. 1 singles and albums in the U.S. and U.K. with "Down Under" and "Business As Usual," respectively.

The track is a favorite with Australians everywhere, and is regarded in these parts as an "unofficial" national anthem, particularly during sporting occasions.

After losing the Federal Court battle, a dejected Hay said the lawsuit was based on "opportunistic greed" but vowed, "This outcome will have no real impact upon the relationship that I have with our song Down Under, for we are connected forever."