I Have a Dream, But It’s Not About Sharing.


Here’s one I bet you didn’t see coming…..

Did you know that you can’t find the complete “I Have a Dream Speech” by Martin Luther King Jr. anywhere? The rights belong to Mr. King and his family.

It seems that in 1963, Mr. King sued Twentieth Century Fox Records Company from selling a video of his “speech”. Then, in 1999, CBS lost a battle against the MLK Estate when a judge ruled that the oration was a “performance distributed to the news media and not the public, making it a “limited” as opposed to a “general” publication”. This meant the speech is not public domain and therefore, any use must be approved (read: purchased) by the MLK Jr. Estate.

REALLY? A Performance? Come on, people! Have you thought about the synonyms of performance? Act, appearance, behavior, play, show, stunt…the list goes on. And all of these seem to discredit the actual address. Why are we not remembering the address for what it was: a persuasive speech. And for what? To make a few bucks off of copyrights every time an organization wants to promote a significant piece of American history. Not to mention, it’s on a ridiculous technicality. It’s not as if you can’t find the transcript of the “performance” on the internet or in textbooks.

What an obnoxious concept: a supposed monumental address across America, to people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, etc….cannot be found in its’ entirety on the internet.

Go ahead….try to find it….You’ll think you’ve outsmarted the system when you go to YouTube and the first result is the 17 minute video, however, when you click on it, it says that it’s been removed due to copyright issues. What a tease. At least they let you know that it once was there, right?

Even MLK.net can’t use the video: http://www.mlkonline.net/video-i-have-a-dream-speech.html

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