The video was considered an instant success, eventually being viewed on every continent (including Antarctica) as well as the International Space Station. The traffic surge forced JibJab's server to be shut down after one day, and the clip was placed on AtomFilms, where it got more than 1 million hits in 24 hours.
The Richmond Organization, a music publisher that owns the copyright to Guthrie's tune through its Ludlow Music Unit, threatened legal action.
JibJab responded with a lawsuit in a California federal court, claiming
the song was protected under a fair use exemption for parodies. JibJab
and Ludlow Music reached a settlement after JibJab's attorneys unearthed
evidence that the song had passed into the public domain in 1973. The terms of the settlement allowed for the continued distribution of This Land.