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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 - Complete Victory!).
08/24/2004 5 NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal WithoutAlthough the dismissal doesn't tell us the final deal, given that the parody is still available on the JibJab website, we can safely assume that JibJab prevailed in the main issue: continuing to distribute the parody.
Prejudice by Jibjab Media Inc., (Cohn, Cindy) (Filed on 8/24/2004)
I'm sure we will learn more when EFF makes an official annoucement.
EFF has issued a press release: Music Publisher Settles Copyright Skirmish Over Guthrie Classic.
During the course of investigating the case, EFF learned that "This Land is Your Land," the classic Woody Guthrie song, is part of the public domain and has been for several decades.See also, WIRED, which has more details on the renewal story (JibJab Is Free for You and Me).
EFF's investigation revealed that "This Land is Your Land" appears to have been in the public domain since the early 1970s. Woody Guthrie wrote his classic American song in 1940, when the copyright laws granted a copyright term of 28 years, renewable once for an additional 28. According to EFF, the initial copyright term was triggered when Guthrie sold his first versions of the song as sheet music in 1945. The copyright on the song then ran out when Ludlow failed to renew its registration in 1973. Ludlow believes its copyright -- initially filed in 1956 and renewed in 1984 -- remains valid and disputes EFF's claims....
JibJab dismissed its suit against Ludlow today. As part of the settlement of the case, JibJab will remain free to continue distributing the "This Land" animation without further interference from Ludlow.
EFF has posted the original 15-page songbook in which the composition was first published: Ten of Woody Guthrie's Songs: Book One [PDF].
For all my JibJab coverage: JibJab Archive.
Is it legal in the US to claim copyright on something you don't have a copyright on?
Tracked on August 25, 2004 03:34 AMThis 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