It's hard to not love JibJab (thanks to bccmee for the link!). Okay, maybe not for politicians and others who are regularly skewed by them but for the rest of us, especially those of us who are waiting patiently (or not) for The Hobbit. We have to amuse ourselves somehow between Peter Jackson's production videos.
JibJab was founded in 1999 but it wasn't till their "This Land" parody during the 2004 U.S. Presidential election that they were sudden internet sensations. Naturally, that's when the trouble started. Woody Guthrie sold the copyright for "This Land Is Your Land" to Ludlow Music in the 1950's at a time when copyrights were valid for a term of 28 years and then renewable for another 28. Ludlow renewed their copyright in 1984, 28 years after their original acquisition, and based on that date it should have been good through 2012. They threatened to sue but JibJab filed first. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, JibJab's lawyers, argued that, in the first place, the parody fell under the fair use exemption of copyright law, and in the second that the song was first published by Guthrie in the 1940's and had entered the public domain in 1973 when Ludlow failed to renew their copyright based on the original publishing date. Oopsie.
As much as I love JibJab I'm a total sucker for Woody Guthrie so that's what we're going to listen to today. In the early 40s the U.S. Department of the Interior commissioned him to write songs about the Columbia River, which flows through British Columbia in Canada and Washington and Oregon in the U.S. I love this one particularly. Have a great weekend!