Clive Palmer has been accused of repeatedly lying to a Sydney court after claiming he penned the lyrics to a political jingle at the centre of a copyright stoush.
The businessman is being sued by Universal Music over his re-written version of Twisted Sister’s 1984 track We’re Not Gonna Take It, which featured in United Australia Party advertising last year.
The Federal Court in Sydney today heard Mr Palmer claims, in an affidavit, to have written his lyrics in September 2018 while “deep in contemplation” about the upcoming federal election.
But appearing via video link, Mr Palmer said his words had nothing to do with the metal track and were devised after he watched the 1976 movie Network, which includes the line “I’m not going to take this anymore”.
Mr Palmer said the only record of the lyrics being written was on a notepad which he routinely keeps next to his bed for “doodles and thoughts” when he wakes up at 4:00am — a common practice for “creative people”.
“Every day it’s removed and thrown in the trash. I don’t control that, my staff do,” Mr Palmer told the court.
The court has previously heard Mr Palmer’s team sought a licence to use the Twisted Sister track but abandoned negotiations because he didn’t agree with the price.
Barrister Patrick Flynn SC, for Universal, reminded Mr Palmer under cross-examination that he was under an oath to tell Justice Anna Katzmann the truth.
“Do you understand this is not a political interview?” Mr Flynn said.
“Yes,” the businessman replied.
Mr Flynn accused Mr Palmer of making up multiple parts of his evidence, which he denied.
“Mr Palmer, you will say anything, won’t you, if you think it helps your political cause?” he said.
“No,” Mr Palmer replied.
Mr Palmer told the court he did not want to pay to use the song because it was not original and was a version of the Christmas carol O Come, All Ye Faithful.
“It’s not about money, it’s about the principle here,” he said.
“I’m not prepared to be ripped off.”
His affidavit described the former politician as someone with a “keen interest in the publication of original poetic works” who “regularly publishes poetic works”.
Mr Palmer’s legal team is arguing he did not reproduce a “substantial part” of the song and made “material changes” to the lyrics.
The words of Mr Palmer’s song included “Australia ain’t gonna cop it”.
On Tuesday, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider told the court Mr Palmer’s version of his song was “awful” and “misrepresented the message”.
On a video link from the US, the musician also said any association with Mr Palmer was not good for his heavy metal image.
He acknowledged the track was “inspired” by the carol, but insisted he had “transformed” the first six notes.
The hearing continues.