‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’: Twisted Sister Win Copyright Battle In Australia

Twisted Sister photographed in 1984
Mark Weiss/Getty Images

Twisted Sister photographed in Los Angeles in 1984. 

When Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer used a soundalike of Twisted Sister’s best-known song for a political campaign, the rockers weren’t gonna take it.

On Friday (April 30), the U.S. glam metal veterans came out on top when an Australian court ordered Palmer pay A$1.5 million ($1.16 million) in damages for infringing the copyright in their 1984 hit, "We’re Not Gonna Take It."

Twisted Sister and Universal Music Publishing Group launched legal action against Palmer when his United Australia Party rolled out a national campaign featuring “a re-written version” of the band's signature song.

A Federal Court judge agreed.

In her judgment, Justice Anna Katzmann found Palmer’s use of the song “was opportunistic,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

She continued, "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.”

Katzmann also ordered Palmer to pay costs and scrub all copies of his version of the song from the Web.

Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider shared the development with his social media followers. “It’s over baby! We won big,” he tweeted.

The contested song accompanied a campaign that was circulated on TV and social media Down Under in 2019 and used the lyrics, "Australia ain't gonna cop it, no Australia's not gonna cop it. Aussies not gonna cop it.”

When asked for comment at the time, Palmer told the ABC via a text message that he “wrote the words".

He added, "Old rocker who can not sell enough tickets to their last gig need publicity…No communication from their lawyers, I own the copyright for my own lyrics."

Palmer, who is as colorful as he is combative, made his wealth in mining before turning his attention to the right-wing of politics. He’s amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune, and is a household name in Australia not just for his deep pockets but for putting his name and resources to a string of unusual projects, which include the dinosaur theme park Palmersaurus and plans to build a replica of the ill-fated Titanic.

"We're Not Gonna Take It" is Twisted Sister's highest-charting song, peaking at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1984. Snider and Co. have enjoyed a revival thanks to a cameo on the popular Netflix series Cobra Kai, based on the The Karate Kid franchise.