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Thursday, August 26, 2004

This song is our song

Jib Jab, the website behind the crossover hit shockwave animation depicting George Bush and John Kerry singing "This Land is Your Land," has won its legal battle for the right to distribute the parody. This, after the record label that owns Woody Guthrie classic threatened to sue the animators—in spite of the fact that Arlo Guthrie, Woody's son (though he owns no rights to the song), had urged people visiting his web site to check out the lampoon. The Electronic Frontier Foundation had joined the fight, on the side of Jib Jab.

Strike a blow for free speech? Er, not quite. turns out there's some dispute over whether the copyright on the song is still valid. I guess the publishers didn't want to test that one out.

John and Germaine Warkentin, authors of this nationally-famous rip-off of the song, can breathe easy.

Posted by Kevin Libin on August 26, 2004 | Permalink


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Not to mention the fact that Guthrie senior, in writing, declared that the song was public property and anyone could do whatever they wanted with it:

"This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do."

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-08-27 7:02:31 AM

Reminds me of The Simpsons episode which ends with a giant log with Lisa's face sliding across the country to the tune of "This Log is Your Log."

Moe [singing]: "I put some onions in-side my trou-ousers!"

Posted by: Rick Hiebert | 2004-08-27 12:54:38 PM

"It was the style at the time."

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-08-27 1:20:25 PM

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