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The Copyright Nightmare of 'I Have a Dream'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the private-history dept.

Communications 366

CoveredTrax writes "If you weren't alive to witness Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech on the Washington Mall 48 years ago this week, you might try to switch on the old YouTube and dial it up. But you won't find it there or anywhere else; rights to its usage remain with King and his family. Typically, a speech broadcast to a large audience on radio and television (and considered instrumental in historic political changes and ranked as the most important speech in 20th century American history) would seem to be a prime candidate for the public domain. But the copyright dilemma began in December 1963, when King sued Mister Maestro, Inc., and Twentieth Century Fox Records Company to stop the unauthorized sale of records of the 17-minute oration."

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366 comments

Only 27 more years until public domain (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37243968)

Right...? Or is Disney going to get another copyright extension passed?

Re:Only 27 more years until public domain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244142)

Right...? Or is Disney going to get another copyright extension passed?

As I understand it it's now 95 years after the creator's death so we have 52 years left.

Re:Only 27 more years until public domain (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244506)

Right...? Or is Disney going to get another copyright extension passed?

As I understand it it's now 95 years after the creator's death so we have 52 years left.

Mickey Mouse?

Re:Only 27 more years until public domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244470)

Right...? Or is Disney going to get another copyright extension passed?

No kidding. The "Mickey Mouse Protection Act" of 1998 showed that the government works for corporations, not the people. Absolutely bogus. I also view it as the route to "perpetual" copyright with extension after extension for big companies like Disney.

Re:Only 27 more years until public domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244502)

Disney will obviously get an extension. How retarded would they be not to .. lets see around the year 2020 they will need to purchased 435/2 = 218 congresscritters and 51 senators .. how hard will that be? They have billions in cash so they can afford to about $5 million on each congresscritter and $10 mil on each senator .. A modest investment of $1.5 billion to keep their monopoly .. not bad at all .. I mean think about how much the telcos have to pay to maintain their own monopolies.

MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (5, Informative)

jarich (733129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37243982)

In related news, the group building the memorial had to ~pay~ MLK's family 800,000 dollars for the rights to his image and words. http://goodnightsnack.com/2011/08/26/martin-luther-king-jr-family-charges-800k-to-use-his-words-on-commemorative-dc-statue-greed/ [goodnightsnack.com]

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244170)

Members of celebrities families are greedy free-riding bastards who hang on their relatives coattails. In other news, rodent attacks man. More at 11.

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (5, Funny)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244522)

Members of celebrities families are greedy free-riding bastards who hang on their relatives coattails. In other news, rodent attacks man. More at 11.

Why bring Jimmy Carter into this?

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (2)

Meowfaceman (637882) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244670)

That rodent is my step dad, and it costs $80k to reference him, and another $100k to use him as a news headline. You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244692)

The ones that you hear about may be. It's just another case of the worst also being the loudest.

Most family members of most celebrities keep their head down and carry on as normal, occasionally annoyed when people poke them about their famous niece/uncle/brother.

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244284)

The group building the memorial are PISSING on King's grave.
Harry E. Johnson Sr., president of the foundation, made $265,085 in 2008.

They built the "memorial" with uncompensated (read "slave") labour from China.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/26/305092/mlk-jr-memorial-statue-completed-using-unpaid-chinese-laborers/ [thinkprogress.org]

Get this straight. MLK was not a "fee-good, let's all respect each other" civil-rights version of Barney the dinosaur.

He was mobilising and uniting the underprivileged, black and white, in ways that were threatening to the war-mongering coproratist kleptocrats. They didn't kill him 'cos he wanted people to drink from the same fountain.

Now, they are killing him with artificial praise. It's like the moneylenders in the Temple, now selling "Jesus Slept Here" t-shirts.

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (2)

dmacleod808 (729707) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244358)

well OBVIOUSLY he was a "fee-good" type of guy, or at least his family was.... *rimshot*

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244466)

What a bunch of assholes. This dude was a great man and they piss all over his memory.

Re:MLK's Family Received 800k from the Memorial (1)

MrMagooAZ (595319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244574)

I wonder if this just applies to the memorial or if it also covers items to be sold in the gift shop? That's probably where the real money is.

How is this (3, Interesting)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37243988)

How is this different from Steam Boat Willy? Both are important to culture, but both are unavailable in the public domain. Intellectual property laws in this country have become obscene. It is time to put an end to century laws and go back to a sensible two generation intellectual property right ownership (38 years).

Re:How is this (4, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244072)

The speech contained a message that MLK (presumably) wanted to get out to everyone. Steamboat Willy, not so much.

Re:How is this (2)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244184)

Unfortunately both parties have fallen prey to the lobbying and money. Democrats are closer to Hollywood and thus more supportive of stronger copyright laws, and Republicans are hardly better.

Re:How is this (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244326)

Unfortunately both parties have fallen prey to the lobbying and money. Democrats are closer to Hollywood and thus more supportive of stronger copyright laws, and Republicans are hardly better.

This is why the only way you might be able to get this on the political agenda (which is still a long way away from getting any legislation passed) is through strong corporate sponsorship for this proposal: Google might be interested, maybe Microsoft et al.

One thing needs to be very clear though: the public, that was deprived of works getting into the public domain at the expected time when they bought the works, were never financially compensated for this loss; this means that rightsholders who see their copyright term shortened also will not need to be financially compensated.

This is patently false. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244038)

I have listened to this speech at work on the internet every year on the anniversary of MLK's death. The speech text and audio have never been hard to find. Here is an example site:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

I believe this counts as "anywhere else."

I Had A Dream... (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244050)

Obviously the family is not very big on living up to MLK's dream.

Re:I Had A Dream... (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244198)

I honestly can't blame them. They paid for that dream with his life. The provisions of copyright law are ridiculous, but them's the breaks.

Re:I Had A Dream... (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244434)

I realize his message was mostly about race, but MLK was all about social justice.

There is no justice involved in trying to hold a copyright on a speech that was given in PUBLIC, and broadcast to the public, almost 5 decades ago.

wellllllllll (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244226)

They are, as he was, a NIGGER. Check his real name and then open your NIGGER loving mouth! Alluding to Martin Luther , is bullshit, as it has ALWAYS BEEN. Niggers!!!!!

Re:I Had A Dream... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244228)

King sued Mister Maestro, Inc., and Twentieth Century Fox Records Company to stop the unauthorized sale of records of the 17-minute oration.

Given the long, sordid history of record companies ripping off African American artists, I hardly think it would have been MLK's dream to allow his own work to be ripped off well.

Re:I Had A Dream... (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244480)

"Given the long, sordid history of record companies ripping off African American artists, I hardly think it would have been MLK's dream to allow his own work to be ripped off well."

"Ripped off", how? This was a public speech. If you want to reserve rights to something, then do it in a studio or in front of a paying audience, not in front of thousands of people, in a park, for free.

Re:I Had A Dream... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244810)

"Ripped off", how? This was a public speech. If you want to reserve rights to something, then do it in a studio or in front of a paying audience, not in front of thousands of people, in a park, for free.

While I agree with you in principle with regard to the content of MLK's speech specifically, think about what you're saying. Lots of bands give free concerts; that doesn't mean they don't retain rights to the public performance. Or to put it another way, in this society there's a difference between "free as in speech" and "free as in beer." I believe MLK's intent was the former, but that's not true of everyone who gives you something without making you pay for it.

I had a dream ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244052)

... To be filthy rich like the opressing white man. Disclaimer: I have no problems with the white woman, opressive or otherwise.

Huh. My company used this speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244058)

My company used the full length of the speech in some diversity class. I wonder if they actually licensed it.

Re:Huh. My company used this speech (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244364)

The thing is, your company probably wasn't selling it as a standalone item, like the companies mentioned in TFS.

Those lawsuits were basically making a profit off of someone elses work, without compensating that person. Your company may be using as an aid to making their profit, but I'm sure they put a whole lot more effort into it, and the speech isn't the centerpiece or primary portion of the class.

Re:Huh. My company used this speech (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244416)

Can you let us what the company name is? I'll check for you.

I have a dream... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244064)

So much for the freedom of speech... I have a dream we will do away with draconian copyrights and where man will freely be able to re-speak what another man said. Bleh, so much for the promise of America...

Re:I have a dream... (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244428)

Yeah. Except the description in the TFS anyway, what started it all, wasn't draconian copyright law. It was a group trying to make a profit off of someone elses work without compensating them.

Good, bury the speech (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244076)

fuckin troublemaker has caused enough nonsense.

now we treat animals like human beings, and look what it gets us? out of control gang violence

lock the monkeys up in the zoo, and paper the cages with dr happys dumb shit speech

MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244118)

How dare his family try to make money off of this man? They should be ashamed of themselves. If there's any speech that should be public domain, it's this one. And don't even get me started on their payments from the National Mall memorial. We're trying to honor this man for his accomplishments. These family members disgusts me. They should stop the money grabbing and try to live up to the spirit and legacy of their relative, not make money off of him.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244194)

How dare his family try to make money off of this man? They should be ashamed of themselves. If there's any speech that should be public domain, it's this one. And don't even get me started on their payments from the National Mall memorial. We're trying to honor this man for his accomplishments. These family members disgusts me. They should stop the money grabbing and try to live up to the spirit and legacy of their relative, not make money off of him.

He'd roll in his grave? From the article summary, it seems like he himself was suing to prevent people from spreading it for money. If he was truly egalitarian and concerned for the cause above all else, shouldn't he have allowed any distribution possible? He was pulling the same stuff himself!

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244268)

He was trying to step people MAKING money off his shit.
If his shit was given away for free, that would probably have been ok him.
Atleast i hope so, or the dude wasnt as cool as i thought.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244446)

In 1963 it would have been very hard to propagate an important bit of information if people can't make money on the prospect.

If this attitude had prevailed a couple hundred years earlier, MLK would have been petitioning the Queen.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244464)

Being egalitarian doesn't mean being a sucker and letting other people profit off of your work without compensation.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244500)

He'd roll in his grave? From the article summary, it seems like he himself was suing to prevent people from spreading it for money. If he was truly egalitarian and concerned for the cause above all else, shouldn't he have allowed any distribution possible? He was pulling the same stuff himself!

I would assume that MLK sued precisely BECAUSE his speech was being sold. Because selling something automatically restricts it. If it were being distributed freely, he would probably have not objected, because everyone could access it. He was a very bright man, who I am sure understood that ideas travel best when they are free. I would also assume that he sued because he felt that his speech was not something that should be profited off of, as it would simply be yet another form of exploitation.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244776)

Selling something that's in the public domain is perfectly fine, and it does not restrict it.

If somebody sold copies of his speech, this in no way prevents somebody else from handing it out for free, or from selling it for a cheaper price.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244206)

Would he be rolling in his grave? He himself filed suit when the recordings of the speech were being sold...

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244306)

I can understand suing if someone else is selling the recordings and making money off the transaction. But once he was dead the stuff should have passed into the public domain and paying to create a memorial? I don't think so. That's beyond evil.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244400)

I don't know about "beyond evil". I agree it seems globally suboptimal, but I don't know the details of the family's financial circumstances, etc.

But my point was that maybe he would have been unhappy with the way the copyright is being used, but maybe he wouldn't be. It does seem like the family has mostly been suing in cases where someoen is in fact making money off the speech.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (2)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244366)

Yes he would. He stopped a company from profiting from his speech. But nowhere has it been said that he turned around & did the same thing? Who can say that if he were alive today that he'd allow it to be viewed for free on a site like YouTube? Or have it up on a site of his own?
I might not like the corporate use of IP law, I do recognize that IP law is still useful in protecting the originators of such work from being stolen by others for profit. There are a lot of people who use IP law to keep their ideas available to others without allow those same others from profiting from their work. I do believe that's what is behind the idea of Copyleft & the use of IP law in OSS.

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (1)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244436)

> he'd allow it to be viewed for free on a site like
> YouTube?

Or in other words to allow Google to profit off his speech?

Maybe he would. Maybe he wouldn't. Hard to say!

Re:MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave (2)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244476)

He directed his organization to license its use and used the money to fund his organization. The estate has continued the practice. Given how widely available the text and audio is, there's a lot of fire and brimstone over this basic and well understood application of black-letter copyright law. You're allowed to profit from your work during your lifetime, afterward your heirs get to profit from your work for a set period of time.

Now, Happy Birthday to You, THERE'S a sticky copyright issue.

-GiH

Er... He filed suit and used the proceeds. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244432)

MLK was alive for the suit against Mister Maestro and Twentieth Century Fox. The copyright notice, hastily scribbled onto the text of the speech by Mr. King's attorney as copies were being mimeographed in the press tent the day of the speech is one of the financial pillars that gave MLK's organization the funding to keep moving forward. To be clear, the speech had been pressed onto records and was being sold over over the country as a single. The MLK foundation stepped in, enforced the copyright, and claimed a cut to continue Mr. King's work. Martin Luther King, Jr. vs Mister Maestro, Inc., and 20th Century-Fox Record Corporation USDC, S.D.N.Y. (12-13-1963) 224 F.Supp.101, 140 USPQ 366. Since I'm guessing you do not actually know -- MLK died on April 4, 1968, about 5 years after you think he was "rolling over in his grave." -GiH

Maybe we'll just start saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244128)

"I have a bigger dream, copyleft."

Other tidbits of the family (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244158)

They threatened to sue Obama / MLK t-shirt vendors with the "Yes We Can" text on it in 2008.

The family always seems to sue each other over the past few decades.

Also, at the request of the King family, his FBI file is sealed until 2027.. what does a Reverend have to hide?

Re:Other tidbits of the family (2)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244294)

Also, at the request of the King family, his FBI file is sealed until 2027.. what does a Reverend have to hide?

If FBI violated your privacy and concocted a file, do you mind if i take a peek?

Re:Other tidbits of the family (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244504)

Typical policy is the file is unsealed after the death of the person under investigation. Nice try though.

Need a separation of copyrights (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244208)

There should be a right to prevent others from profiting by copying and distributing or packaging your works
without an agreement with you,
but NOT a right to prevent the material being freely copyable where no money is being exchanged and no
advertising is being glommed on.

Re:Need a separation of copyrights (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244336)

You'll find it very hard to sell your 'copy' while someone across the street is distributing it "with no money being exchanged."

Not on YouTube (5, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244216)

Yes, the speech is not on YouTube. Not here [youtube.com], here [youtube.com], or even here [youtube.com]. It's definitely not here [youtube.com].

Re:Not on YouTube (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244390)

None of those links appear to be to the entire speech, but rather shorts snippets with documentary info intermingled. The original statement seems to stand.

Re:Not on YouTube (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244394)

Oh, and it isn't here either:
http://www.archive.org/details/MLKDream

Re:Not on YouTube (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244490)

I'm confused. The link you provided seems to have the speech in its entirety. That is actually one that I have referred to for papers that I wrote in university. Is it not the complete speech? Hopefully, the King family don't attack UC Berkeley or the Internet Archive for sharing that file.

You don't understand copyright (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244220)

Typically, a speech broadcast to a large audience on radio and television (and considered instrumental in historic political changes and ranked as the most important speech in 20th century American history) would seem to be a prime candidate for the public domain.

I don't know how in the world you could think this. It's a ridiculous notion. It's pretty obvious that the speech is copyrighted, and that the owners of the copyright have the right to restrict its distribution. Anyone wishing to write about the speech can use existing fair-use laws to refer to it, but just simply posting a copy on a web site is obviously an infringement.

Perhaps the copyright owners want to make sure that it isn't abused. There are a lot of people out there who would love to twist Dr. King's words to their own advantage.

Re:You don't understand copyright (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244460)

It's trivial to prevent the "twisting" of Dr Kings work without turning the whole thing into a crass money grab.

Re:You don't understand copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244668)

I don't know how in the world you could think this. It's a ridiculous notion. It's pretty obvious that the speech is copyrighted, and that the owners of the copyright have the right to restrict its distribution.

They have *limited* rights to restrict its distribution.

but just simply posting a copy on a web site is obviously an infringement.

I don't think that's true at face value, and I don't know why you believe the files were "simply posted" instead of being part of reporting or discussion.

Keep in mind that even distributing full copies of Copyrighted content can be legal.

Perhaps the copyright owners want to make sure that it isn't abused. There are a lot of people out there who would love to twist Dr. King's words to their own advantage.

Contrary to your implication, hiding the original makes it *easier* to twist his words, since it makes it harder for others to refer to what he actually said.

Martin Luther King Collection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244242)

It is indeed a moral and cultural disgrace that there are those who would try to censor the King's words like this.

I am familiar with this site - http://martinlutherking.org/ [martinlutherking.org] that the King family and others have been trying to shut down for years - unsuccessfully thankfully. It is a very good resource for a educational MLK material and millions of schoolchildren access it every year.

Creative Commons didn't existent at the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244264)

"This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License." would have made sense

King was a great man (2)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244300)

Shame that 90% of his family are money grubbing whores.

Ignorant of the facts much? (3, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244392)

MLK was alive for the suit against Mister Maestro and Twentieth Century Fox.

The copyright notice, hastily scribbled onto the text of the speech by Mr. King's attorney as copies were being mimeographed in the press tent the day of the speech is one of the financial pillars that gave MLK's organization the funding to keep moving forward.

To be clear, the speech had been pressed onto records and was being sold over over the country as a single. The MLK foundation stepped in, enforced the copyright, and claimed a cut to continue Mr. King's work.

Martin Luther King, Jr. vs Mister Maestro, Inc., and 20th Century-Fox Record Corporation USDC, S.D.N.Y. (12-13-1963) 224 F.Supp.101, 140 USPQ 366. Since I'm guessing you do not actually know -- MLK died on April 4, 1968, about 5 years after you think he was "rolling over in his grave."

-GiH

Re:Ignorant of the facts much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244508)

This doesn't change the original posters comment at all.

Re:Ignorant of the facts much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244600)

That's different .. MLK had recently made the speech and he does need to put groceries on the table not to mention fund his movement. Now it has become an issue of people generations later wanting to live off it.

Re:King was a great man (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244478)

It's good that the other 10% were a bit more enlightened. ...also makes you wonder about how much people are held back by such internal forces versus external ones.

I have my own Dream... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244310)

I have my own dream that someday we will end this copyright foolishness. That people will realize that ideals once expressed become part of our collective humanity, and not something to be enslaved forever to the false god of capitalistic profits. I see a day when all children have the chance to make beautiful music and that music not be shacked by men who make no art. Then if we the people enjoy that music, then those children can earn a comfortable living for themselves from their endeavors.

Yes, I have seen the promised land and it is Creative Commons!
Thank God almighty we are free at least from US style Copyright!!!

Re:I have my own Dream... (1)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244794)

MOD. UP.

(Also, I'm totally stealing this and posting it in other places).

Speech isn't free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244340)

Especially when people seek to make money off of your words

Fuck that nigger and his family (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244378)

Who gives a shit? Change in this fucked up world isn't going to happen until you all let it fall. Stop bickering about shit and just let it go.

Captcha, no shit: lobbying

King children care about money, not father (5, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244458)

Ever since their mother's death, MLK's children have done nothing but fight over the rights in regards to their father, and the profits to be gained by selling them. For instance, in regards to a proposed MLK movie: "Bernice King and her eldest brother, Martin III, say they are "taking action" against their estranged sibling, Dexter, who is chief executive of the King estate, because he apparently decided to negotiate the entire film deal with Spielberg and Dreamworks without attempting to seek their permission." (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/the-king-family-fighting-over-the-dream-1688644.html). And notice how Dexter is the chief executive of the estate. That means he is entirely within his rights to negotiate a movie deal on behalf of the estate. Book deals and memoirs regarding MLK and Coretta King, worth millions of dollars, have been lost due to infighting and court battles (http://www.thegrio.com/top-stories/atlanta-ap----two-children.php)(http://cards6.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/in-fighting-between-king-family-tarnishes-king-legacy/).

It's really very sad. MLK certainly did a great thing for this country, centered around the march and his "I Have A Dream" speech. However, it seems his children have a dream as well: to make as much money off their father's legacy. I would be willing to bet that MLK, were he still alive, would be ashamed of how is children are acting. They are disrespecting their father and their legacy.

Re:King children care about money, not father (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244816)

Entirely within his rights?

HAH. The president is the chief executive of the country, he doesn't get the right to act unilaterally.

Why would we assume that the MLK estate is any different?

I don't even think it would be a good idea for one person to have that much authority. I don't like some of the things my older sibling did with our father's estate, I didn't bother fighting it in court, but that was because the sum wasn't worth it to me...not because the principle wasn't.

I can't hold the King family to a different standard.

I may or may not agree with the positions they've taken, but I can empathize with the conflict and the disagreement.

It's unfortunate, but it is not wrong.

scumbag family (2)

kirkb (158552) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244530)

Anybody from Atlanta should be able to attest that Dr. King's family is a bunch of degenerates who ride on his accomplishments for their own monetary / political / social gain. Just check out the frequent lawsuits and scandals involving family members and the King Center.

Re:scumbag family (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244770)

Anybody from Atlanta should be able to attest that Dr. King's family is a bunch of degenerates who ride on his accomplishments for their own monetary / political / social gain. Just check out the frequent lawsuits and scandals involving family members and the King Center.

I live 2 blocks from the MLK, jr. National Historic site, and I approve of this message.

Official text does not match the audio recording (2)

cshay (79326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244546)

FWIW, I once listened to the speech while reading along to the text of the speech as found in a book of famous speeches I had.

I learned a lesson that day which is that publishers will publish the "official" text which may differ significantly from that which was actually delivered. I was pretty annoyed because I paid good money for the book and wanted to read along to the speech.

Re:Official text does not match the audio recordin (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244746)

Did you identify a change in the message beyond the mere words, or was it just a sloppy transcription? Perhaps they published a version of the speech he wrote down beforehand, which would of course not be identical to something spoken over 17 minutes by anyone who knows well enough to not stare at the paper for the duration of the delivery.

Turning a dream into a nightmare. (1)

w3bd4wg (938648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244562)

The revolution will not be broadcasted. King is rolling in his grave.

Rubish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37244586)

It's a shame such blatantly false stories get posted to /.

Someone should challenge the copyright (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244630)

It is highly disputed that MLK plagiarised the I Had A Dream speech. http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/m/mlk.htm [truthorfiction.com] I think it should be settled once and for all.

Either revoke it or respect it. I don't care which. But if King is to be a national hero, I don't think it's right that there should be profit in it for anyone -- not even his family.

Why should it be public domain (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244672)

Typically, a speech broadcast to a large audience on radio and television (and considered instrumental in historic political changes and ranked as the most important speech in 20th century American history) would seem to be a prime candidate for the public domain.

Why should a speech be a part of public domain? If it is broadcast to a large audience? So if I want to retain copyright I should make sure I only broadcast to small audiences? Is it the radio or television that is important here? Or is the they "considered instrumental" part? It sounds to me like any (and all of these) are very good reasons to maintain and protect the copyright on said work. Copyright is set up for the creator (or the person who hired the creator) can benefit from their creation for a number of years (and sure, sometimes this means the creator's offspring profit, good for them) Just because a creation becomes popular, or well known, or historically instrumental, doesn't mean the author should no longer profit. I find it interesting that some people consider celebrities children to be greedy free-riding bastards, and yet that same person wants the said item for... free.

I have a dream (1)

Khenke (710763) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244826)

of a world free of stupid copyright and stupid patents.
of a world with considerably less greed.
of a world with people thinking of what is best for us and not what is best for me.
of a world like in a dream and not in a nightmare.

But as long as I don't migrate to a different planet I have to stop dreaming, because it is a total waste of time.

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