Monthly Archives: July 2004

The Question

A question that should be asked: Would a Kerry Adminstration veto the Induce Act?… Continue reading

Posted in presidential politics | 19 Comments

Environmental Ad contest

Advertising every day becomes more like cave art. Here’s aBetterEarth’s new environmental ad contest…. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

no potential for a substantial noninfringing use?

Here‘s a BitTorrent file that will get you, p2p, the video of the Hearings on the INDUCE Act, prepared by Tom Barger. Watch, and blog the substantial noninfringing use. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 16 Comments


Reason brings some reason to the JibJab jumble, through an article by Jesse Walker. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 3 Comments

campaign ads remixed

“The Integral” has an album of remixed campaign ads called “Campaign Songs,” available under a Creative Commons license, and hosted by the Internet Archive. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 2 Comments

Barack Obama


If you missed Barack Obama tonight at the Democratic National Convention, you missed one of the greatest speeches of this campaign. Remember. Links to watch, and read. Continue reading

Posted in heroes | 46 Comments

Gillmor & CC Party

Creative Commons is hosting a party to celebrate Dan Gillmor’s new book, We The Media, Friday, July 30, at our new home, 543 Howard Street, San Francisco. The party starts at 7pm. You should must RSVP to get in (limited space). Send an email to francesca at creative commons dot org. Continue reading

Posted in creative commons | Leave a comment

Ernie (& friends) disagrees

Ernie has a very nice criticism of my claim about the publisher’s jab at JibJab. So does Martin. I hope they’re right. See also Chris Cohen‘s excellent collection of cases. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 4 Comments

Lenz logic

Karl puts it more succinctly than I. Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 1 Comment

on the meaning of “parody”

Everyone’s seen the brilliant JibJab Flash of Bush/Kerry. The piece claims to be a “parody” of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land.”

As any copyright lawyer recognizes, it is not a “parody” in the sense that “fair use” ordinarily recognizes it. A “fair use” “parody” is a work that uses a work to make fun of the author. JibJab is using Guthrie’s work not to make fun of Guthrie, but of the candidates. (For the now classic case on this, see Dr. Suess v. Penguin Press, where a “parody” of O.J. Simpson using The Cat in the Hat was not “fair use.”)

Guthrie’s publisher’s lawyers too recognize this. As CNN’s Allen Wastler reports, Guthrie’s publisher is now threatening JibJab.

What’s great about this story, of course, is the levels of hypocrisy. Guthrie was not much for property rights himself. It’s said that there is a not-often-sung verse:

As I went walking, I saw a sign there;
And on the sign there, It said, ‘NO TRESPASSING.’
But on the other side, It didn’t say nothing.
That side was made for you and me!

But whether Guthrie believed in property rights or not, the key thing this story should do is force us to ask generally: Does a law that makes a political parody such as Jibjab illegal (even if it is not a “parody” in the copyright view of the world) make sense?

(Note to citizens: We’re permitted to change the law.)

(Thanks to Paul Puglia!)
(UPDATE: Ernie says I’m wrong.) Continue reading

Posted in free culture | 26 Comments