Ludlow Music has withdrawn its demands that JibJab Media stop using Woody Guthrie's THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND tune in the Web short, THIS LAND, because it was discovered that Ludlow does not own the copyright, reports WIRED. JibJab's lawyers discovered that anyone can record their own version of the song, because the copyright has expired.
"We did further research and we found that 'This Land Is Your Land' is in the public domain," said Jason Schultz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND belongs to you and me for real, now."
Paul LiCalsi, Ludlow's attorney, disputed that the copyright had expired, and said the music label dropped its claim "to avoid the expense and difficulties of litigation."
At the beginning of August, Ludlow Music threatened to sue JibJab if it did not remove the short from the Web, claiming copyright infringement. JibJab refused to take down the popular Webtoon because it felt its use of the songs music fell under the fair use clause due to the fact that the short was a parody.
As part of the agreement with Ludow, JibJab will donate 20% of the net proceeds of the toon to the Woody Guthrie Foundation and link to the original lyrics.