The creators of that cartoon parody sweeping through the Web — a Shockwave clip of Bush and Kerry singing to the tune of "This Land is Your Land" — are based in Santa Monica. And now they might get sued. Gregg and Evan Spiridellis of JibJab Media have gotten a demand from the current rights holder to stop "damaging" the Woody Guthrie song. Boing Boing points out, however, that Guthrie's standard copyright notice was quite forgiving:
"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."
JibJab's lawyer adds that the brothers aren't hurting the song, they are engaging in protected political satire. (And, he might add, making the tune familiar to a new generation of potential listeners). That, let's hope, is the end of that. More at LAVoice.org. Richard Rushfield, meanwhile, is bored with the whole thing already.
* July 30 update: The legal nuances of "satire" vs. "parody" and how that could be bad news for JibJab, explored by Reason managing editor Jesse Walker.