*sigh* The current state of copyright law is a mess. I certainly don't agree with everything Lessig advocates, but he does bring up some excellent points in most of his blog entries. The best point in this entry is the observation that were he still alive, Woody Guthrie would likely want to have nothing to do with any of this. Lessig points out that "Guthrie was not much for property rights himself." According to the law, it's very likely the case that JibJab's "parody" is illegal because it's technically "not a 'parody' in the copyright view of the word." The question is: should it be illegal or should it be fair use?
I don't know if JibJab's piece constitutes "fair use" or not. Well, no. It probably doesn't constitute "fair use" under existing law. But should it? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that it's one of the funniest pieces of political commentary I've seen in a long time. I agree with Lessig when he says it's "brilliant."
Be sure to check out Lessig's thoughts on the issue.
Lawrence Lessig's Blog is syndicated on LiveJournal as lawrencelessig.