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August 10, 2004

Guthrie Doesn't Even Get A Say.

About a week ago I got an email expressing a comedic appreciation for the new Jib-Jab short "This Land" that is, in brief, a comedic expression of the more personal views one might expect from Kerry and Bush. Well, the people that "own" the rights to the Guthrie song are threatening to sue. I was listening to NPR earlier tonight and learned something new about the song...

Apparently Woodie Guthrie was not the original author of the melody behind "This Land is Your Land", he borrowed it from the Country/Bluegrass band The Carter Family of the time who were the first to record it but had borrowed it from an old gospel song that goes by the name of "When the World's on Fire". Jib-jab is by no means backing down to the threats and claims "We consider it a case of political satire and parody and therefore entitled to the fair use exemption of the copyright act." Now this is all well and good, but even without all of that leagal speak there is an "official" copyright on the music, written by Guthrie himself(a MUST read!): Seal of Copyright # 154085. How far can it go?

Posted by tbartels at August 10, 2004 12:20 AM