Woody Guthrie had a sense of humor

Somedays the thing I worry about most is the total loss of humor that seems to infect lawyers and accountants, particularly those in the vicinity of intellectual property. In a world this complex, humor and perspective are more necessary than ever. Ultimately, this is why I expect the hacker mentality and ethic to prevail.

JibJab Threatened Over Use Of Woody Guthrie Song. For the last few weeks, the JibJab site and their amusing political parody of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” has been getting passed around the net. It’s well done, and deserves much of the praise it’s been getting. However, it appears the folks who own the rights to Woody Guthrie’s music are anything but pleased, and are demanding that JibJab stop distributing the flash movie. Their biggest complaint seems to be that “This puts a completely different spin on the song,” which will “damage” the song. Anyone who can’t see how utterly ridiculous this is has no job watching over Woody Guthrie’s music. Guthrie, after all, is the same singer who once put the following copyright notice on his work: “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.” Apparently, no one told the folks at the humorless Richmond Organization. [Techdirt]