July 29, 2004

Woody Guthrie's Copyright Notice

By now, the vast majority of you will probably have heard of (and seen) the rather over-hyped Flash animated parody of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" featuring George W and John Kerry... Well - surprise! surprise! - the publishers of the song have threatened to bring a copyright action against the parodists on the basis that it "damages" the unifying message of the song.
Its a fairly spurious claim that threatens one of the mainstays of political satire - the satirical song; but one good thing has come out of it... Its prompted its opponents at Electronic Frontier Foundation to dig up the standard copyright notice that Guthrie placed on most of his songs. And its one of the best copyright notices ever written. It goes something like this...

"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."

Posted by Warren at July 29, 2004 01:52 AM | Copyright