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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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.

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