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July 29, 2004
Oops - I Seem To Be Standing On Your Shoulders
Fred von Lohmann breaks the news that Woody Guthrie may have "borrowed" quite a bit of "This Land Is Your Land" from The Carter Family, which in turn may have "borrowed" it from someone else.
Writes Fred, "[In] the letter (PDF) threatening copyright litigation over JibJab's animated political parody, 'This Land,' Ludlow's lawyer goes out of his way to attack JibJab for copying 'the entire melody, harmony, rhythm and structure of the [sic] Mr. Guthrie's song.'
Er, sorry there Ludlow, but actually, the entire melody, harmony, rhythm, and structure of 'This Land is Your Land' doesn't belong to you. And I'd like to think Mr. Guthrie would never have claimed credit for them, if he were still alive to ask."
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