Wouldn't Woody be annoyed!


Wired has an article about the JibJab version of Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land which stars George W Bush and John Kerry exchanging political barbs. If you haven't seen the short (on the JibJab site), you might want to take a peek before they get shut down by the current owners of the copyright on Guthrie's work.

The irony (for those familiar with Guthrie) is that he was basically a communist and that there is even a verse in the song that goes:

As I was walkin'
I saw a sign there
And that sign said no trespassin' 
But on the other side It didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

I don't know about your interpretation, but that seems to show a pretty low regard for property rights. If that's not specific enough, though, there's this note from the bottom of a songbook of his (quoted many places, including the Wired article): "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."

I couldn't readily locate 154085 and it clearly isn't the number for This Land is Your Land, however the basic point and irony still stand.