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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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The Importance of...

August 21, 2004
Rumor Mill: JibJab Settles Copyright Lawsuit - Complete Victory!Email This EntryPrint This Entry
Posted by Ernest Miller

According to Mary Hodder on Napsterization, EFF has prevailed in the JibJab lawsuit over their parody of This Land is Your Land (Copyright Rumor Mill). Says Hodder,

I just heard that EFF has won its case representing the Jibjab guys. EFF contended that Woodie Gunthrie didn't renew copyright on "This Land is Your Land" back in the day when copyright terms had to be renewed. Suits were filed, but now, apparently, according to the copyright rumor mill, EFF and Jibjab have "settled," whatever that means. Apparently they got "everything they wanted" because it turns out nobody ever renewed the copyright on the song.
I figured that the actual copyright status of the music, and possibly the lyrics, would certainly be an issue.

I suspect that the settlement keeps Ludlow Music out of court, where the copyright status of This Land is Your Land would be decided once and for all. This way, Ludlow keeps getting royalties and doesn't risk losing the copyright entirely. Note that the actual complaint by EFF has not yet been made widely available, though EFF generally publishes all its legal documents right away. This may have been part of the negotiation strategy with Ludlow, allowing them to back out of their threats without completely demolishing their claimed copyright.

Will all now be revealed? We will see.


EFF will neither confirm nor deny the rumor.

For all my JibJab coverage: JibJab Archive.

Category: JibJab

Andrew Greenberg on August 21, 2004 05:59 AM writes...

this shouldn't be a deep question, if it is an issue at all. Whether they renewed or not would be a matter of public record.

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Andrew Greenberg on August 21, 2004 06:13 AM writes...

this shouldn't be a deep question, if it is an issue at all. Whether they renewed or not would be a matter of public record.

Permalink to Comment

Seth Finkelstein on August 21, 2004 08:59 AM writes...

Court records (PACER) don't show any updates of the status of the case as of Friday night.

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TrackBack URL: http://www.corante.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-pcorso.cgi/4221
This parody was made for you and me from John P. Hoke's Asylum A rumor from Corante is that the EFF has prevailed in defending those wacky JibJab brothers against the current copyright owners of Woodie Gutherie's "This Land is Your Land". Mary Hodder over at napsterization writes: EFF contended that Woo... [Read More]

Tracked on August 21, 2004 02:10 PM

JibJab Complaint Now Available - Misuse of Copyright Claimed from The Importance of... The rumor may be that the JibJab case is all but over (Rumor Mill: JibJab Settles Copyright Lawsuit - Complete Victory!), but some details have emerged. In particular, EFF's complaint. Read the short, 7-page document: JibJab Media Inc. v. Ludlow... [Read More]

Tracked on August 23, 2004 06:29 PM

JibJab Case Settled - Official - No Statement From Parties from The Importance of... This past weekend rumors were running rampant that the JibJab case had been settled with a resounding victory for the two brothers behind the popular parody of Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land (Rumor Mill: JibJab Settles Copyright Lawsuit... [Read More]

Tracked on August 25, 2004 03:02 AM

This Song Is Our Song from Copyfight Once again, the embargo is lifted and the multiple rumors are confirmed: not only has the JibJab case has been settled in favor of the animation parodists, but EFF research indicates that Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" is... [Read More]

Tracked on August 25, 2004 03:34 AM

This Land is Free for You and Me from John P. Hoke's Asylum So, the rumor I reported on Saturday has been confirmed by Les via Wired News. JibJab has prevailed in their defense, and Ludlow Music has learned that oopsy, Woodie Gutherie's This Land is Your Land slipped into the Public Domain! But in a bizarre t... [Read More]

Tracked on August 25, 2004 05:44 PM





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