Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 17th Jan 2012 13:13 UTC
In the News "Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech is considered one of the most recognizable collection of words in American history. It's the rhetorical equivalent of a national treasure or a national park. The National Park Service inscribed it on the Lincoln Memorial and the Library of Congress put it into its National Recording Registry. So we might hold it to be self evident that it can be spread freely. Not exactly. Any unauthorized usage of the speech and a number of other speeches by King - including in PBS documentaries - is a violation of American law. You'd be hard pressed to find a good complete video version on the web, and it's not even to be found in the new digital archive of the King Center's website. If you want to watch the whole thing, legally, you'll need to get the $20 DVD." I'm probably too young and too non-American to really fully grasp just how important Mr King was to a segregated America, but the fact that his influential and world-changing speeches are locked up because of copyright, as well as the fact that EMI is actually actively pursuing its copyright, is downright insane. If anybody ever needed even more proof the content industry is a vile, rotting, stinking and utterly putrid clump of pure, concentrated evil, this is it. Absolutely unbelievable.
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another side than record companies
by fran on Tue 17th Jan 2012 13:29 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

There is another aspect to this.

"Jonathan Turley has a post in which he argues that the King family should have been compelled to waive copyright protection in exchange for the King Memorial on the National Mall"
http://legalinsurrection.com/2009/05/nationalize-martin-luther-king...

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Not at all. We should just build a peep show booth around the monument and charge people a dollar per look. No pictures allowed.

I have always been of the opinion that any speech made in a public forum should be public domain to some extent. Somehow I think this has more to do with his family than him. They were absolutely desperate not to give away his works. He had a dream, and it will cost you $20 to find out what it was.

Reply Score: 8

How come
by Ikshaar on Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:12 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

How come a speech given in public be copyrighted ??!! You mean the video of it may be ?

Edited 2012-01-17 14:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: How come
by JLF65 on Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:34 UTC in reply to "How come"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Public performance by the ARTIST doesn't imply public domain. Copyright attaches regardless of HOW or WHERE the media is delivered. You actually have to state that what you are doing is for the public domain before it becomes public domain... unless you're the government, where everything they do is by law public domain since they technically work for the public.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: How come
by umccullough on Tue 17th Jan 2012 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE: How come"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Public performance by the ARTIST doesn't imply public domain. Copyright attaches regardless of HOW or WHERE the media is delivered.


I believe the law has changed on this one since that speech was given (see Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988) - back then you didn't automatically get copyright for general publication of a work. Worse, with the retroactive copyright extensions (which were even made after his death), this won't go into public domain until 2038.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: How come
by pianom4n on Tue 17th Jan 2012 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How come"
pianom4n Member since:
2010-03-21

Exactly. This actually went to court and they found that when he gave this speech it wasn't a "general publication", and that's why it's still copyrighted.

Also, while the text of the speech will be public domain in 2038 (life + 70), the sound recording of it won't be until 2067, because Congress gave all audio recordings 75 years of copyright in 1972, plus the 20 year extension that came in 1998.

Reply Score: 4

RE: How come
by TechGeek on Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:35 UTC in reply to "How come"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I am not sure he actually gave the speech in a "public" place. Further, as the author he has some rights to how its distributed. I don't like the way it is but not sure how I would change things.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: How come
by DrillSgt on Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE: How come"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

I am not sure he actually gave the speech in a "public" place. Further, as the author he has some rights to how its distributed. I don't like the way it is but not sure how I would change things.


The speech was given on August 28, 1963. It was given in Washington, DC in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This is most definitely a public place.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: How come
by fretinator on Tue 17th Jan 2012 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How come"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

The speech was given on August 28, 1963. It was given in Washington, DC in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This is most definitely a public place.

Actually, its new name is the Mobil Lincoln Memorial on the BP Plaza, brought to you by Subway.

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: How come
by Fergy on Tue 17th Jan 2012 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE: How come"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

I am not sure he actually gave the speech in a "public" place. Further, as the author he has some rights to how its distributed. I don't like the way it is but not sure how I would change things.

Sure you get a temporary monopoly on your work but 70+ years? I would love to get paid over and over again for the same work I did decades ago but I wouldn't find it fair.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: How come
by Laurence on Thu 19th Jan 2012 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How come"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Sure you get a temporary monopoly on your work but 70+ years? I would love to get paid over and over again for the same work I did decades ago but I wouldn't find it fair.

Indeed - the whole thing is absurd.

My girlfriend is a school teacher and it would be great if she got royalties for every occasion that her pupils applied lessons they'd learned from her - both present and any time in the future. However the world doesn't work that way - or at least shouldn't. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: How come
by zima on Tue 24th Jan 2012 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How come"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh I think it does work that way (in broader context, not only ~copyright & performances); it's generally less clear than people like to make it out to be (and needs better arguments - or, too often, any arguments - for why one "can't" benefit from items which are more in the virtual sphere)

After all - from a "normal" property (or, say, one intermediate thing from my place http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_usufruct ) your heirs can obviously benefit, also without work on their part, long after you're dead. Property which now, ultimately, is just a snippet in some databases (so sort of "virtual" - and sure, one might say that's a value attached to physical, hence scarce, goods, but a) we clearly treat agreed values of different kinds of goods as interchangeable b) at the very least, "virtual goods" tend to be made by humans - hence are also impacted by scarcities)

Yeah, it will be a mess to figure out / "not sure how I would change things"

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: How come
by izomiac on Tue 17th Jan 2012 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: How come"
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

Well, part of the issue is that he isn't the author for a fair portion of his works. He plagiarized a great deal (that we know), including the ending of his "I Have A Dream" speech. That said, he was a great orator that brought about a great social change, but his family has some gall to use copyright like this.

Reply Score: 3

Eminent doman
by transami on Tue 17th Jan 2012 16:06 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28

Can't the government use eminent domain here? They can take your home for shopping mall, but they can't make an important historical speech available to all?

Reply Score: 2

I could care less
by Vinegar Joe on Tue 17th Jan 2012 18:28 UTC
Vinegar Joe
Member since:
2006-08-16

I wouldn't want the dvd if you gave it to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I could care less
by phoenix on Thu 19th Jan 2012 19:17 UTC in reply to "I could care less"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Couldn't! COULDN'T! COULD NOT!

For crying out loud, the saying is "I couldn't care less". As in, you don't care about the issue at all. Zip, zero, zilch caring involved.

Saying you "could" care less, means you actually care about the issue, which is the exact opposite of what you are trying to say.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I could care less
by james_parker on Fri 20th Jan 2012 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE: I could care less"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Actually, Vinegar Joe apparently cared enough to make this post; thus it can be argued that his "care value", while quite small, is greater than zero. Assuming that he could indeed have a "care value" of zero, we might then safely conclude that he could care less.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by matej
by matej on Tue 17th Jan 2012 23:01 UTC
matej
Member since:
2007-05-27

That's the spirit! In the ideal world politicians sue the media for all reproductions of their words!

Reply Score: 1

belated birthday greeting
by Rugxulo on Tue 17th Jan 2012 23:41 UTC
Rugxulo
Member since:
2007-10-09

I know I'm two days late, but I feel compelled to sing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, Dr. Marti.....

[door is busted down]
[cops with guns enter]
[handcuffed and taken away]

Reply Score: 1

'I Have a Cream'
by jello on Thu 19th Jan 2012 03:29 UTC
jello
Member since:
2006-08-08

'I Have a Cream'

The above sentence belongs to my family since the year 1542 AD.

So don't use it or we will find you and sue you.

To make things easier for you:
Send us $20 and you can use it as often as you want.

: P

Reply Score: 1

RE: 'I Have a Cream'
by MrWeeble on Fri 20th Jan 2012 14:15 UTC in reply to "'I Have a Cream'"
MrWeeble Member since:
2007-04-18

Dear Sir/Madam
Regarding your claim to the phrase "I have a Cream", I find that this work is derivative of the Weeble Family's notable work "I have a Cheese", which as you will know was first performed in 1496.

My solicitors will in touch shortly to negotiate a settlement

Edited 2012-01-20 14:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1