This Land Will Sue You

The hilarious parody of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” at JibJab is a victim of its own success. The copyright holders of Woody Guthrie’s original are suing JibJab for infringement (like, how many parodies of this song did you have memorized in elementary school?) The EFF has leapt to JibJab’s defense by responding with a counter-suit. Woody’s son Arlo “Alice’s Restaurant” Guthrie was interviewed on NPR, and says that his father would have loved the parody. And just how many lost record sales of the original does the copyright holder think it stands to lose, anyway? Ernest Miller has details.

Music: William Parker :: Raining On The Moon

4 Replies to “This Land Will Sue You”

  1. The EFF has leapt to Guthrie’s defense by responding with a counter-suit.

    And I think you mean, “to JibJab’s defense,” as Woody Guthrie (unless a zombie) has not expressed his personal views on the issue. ;)

  2. Lord save us from lawyers who can’t tell Woody Guthrie from Lee Greenwood. You’d think these losers would have learned something from the Fox News legal department’s inadvertent publicity campaign for Al Franken. If a singer were to place a “This Machine Kills Fascists” sticker on his guitar, would Guthrie Incorporated claim copyright infringement from that, too?

    Adding to the irony, of course, is that Woody originally composed “This Land” as a scathing answer song to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” probably out of frustration with his own generation’s right wing nut jobs and liberal weenies. Here’s one of the verses from his original version of the song:

    As I went rumbling that dusty highway

    I saw a sign that said private property

    But on the other side it didn’t say nothing

    This land was made for you and me.

  3. I don’t thing the Jibjab animations are any good anyway. They’re pretty shitty to me.

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