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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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 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: How come
by umccullough on Tue 17th Jan 2012 16:50 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 Parent Score: 4

RE: How come
by TechGeek on Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:35 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: How come
by DrillSgt on Tue 17th Jan 2012 14:42 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: How come
by Fergy on Tue 17th Jan 2012 19:06 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: How come
by izomiac on Tue 17th Jan 2012 20:20 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 Parent Score: 3