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<nettime> Publish. Write. Sing.
t byfield on Tue, 3 Aug 2004 22:40:10 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Publish. Write. Sing.

Some group styling itself "Jibjab" made a cutesy animation mocking the
US presidential candidates -- set to the tune of Woody Guthrie's "This
land is your land." The company that holds the rights, Ludlow Music,
isn't happy with this and sent Jobjab a cease-and-desist letter. 

Lyrics from "This land is your land," a populist anthem, include:

    As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
    And that sign said - no tress passin'
    But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin!
    Now that side was made for you and me!

Guthrie's attitude toward copyright, in his own words scrawled at the
bottom of one of his lyric sheets:

     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.

Jobjab's animation:


MIT Tech Review summary of the situation:


EFF, which notes that Guthrie took the tune for "This Land" from the Carter



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