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JibJab Looks to Court for Help On This Land Song Issue

For the next step in JibJab Media's potential legal problems over its use of Woody Guthrie's song "This Land Is Your Land" in its newest political satire, the company has asked a California district court to declare that it did not violate the copyrights of Ludlow Music, the owner of the tune, reports WIRED.

Ludlow has been threatening to sue JibJab unless the Web short producer does not take down its wildly popular toon, because the music company feels the short is in violation of its copyright. However, JibJab said it feels that because the song is being used in a parody, it's use falls under the fair usage guidelines of copyright law.

On July 23, Paul LiCalsi, an attorney for Ludlow, sent a second cease-and-desist letter to JibJab demanding: "an accounting for all income received from the exploitation of the unauthorized movie. In the event that we do not receive written confirmation by July 30, 2004, that JibJab will comply with the foregoing, we may conclude that all steps short of litigation are exhausted."

The legal complaint was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of JibJab.

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Rick DeMott
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