Martin Luther King's iconic speech in copyright issue, less visibility

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"I have a dream" in copyright tangle
Washington, Aug 29: As Obama celebrates Martin Luther King's historic march, the 'I have a dream' speech still remains one of the most iconic speeches till date but with little hurdles.

Its been 50 years since King delivered, what is considered to be one of the most celebrated speeched in the US history.  Many people even now turn to youtube to listen to that particular speech and realise its power and effect.

Many media and legal scholars have reported that the speech is not in the public domain, but is controlled by the Martin Luther King Estate. This group of family members and lawyers are quick to threaten and take legal action against anyone who wants to use the image or the speech.

In order to protect King's legacy, the estate has entered licensing deals to anyone including Apple, Chevrolet and Mercedes. Recently they extended the rights to a garment company, Zion Rootswear, that celebrates his legacy and life through artistic and fashion forward details.

The estate is also known to sue merchandise that celebrates President Obama's victory and also withdrew the licensing rights of Martin Luther King,  of a foundation that led the effort tp put a giant edifice of the civil rights leader on the Washington Mall.

However historians claim that King's financial representatives continue to do harm to his legacy as it has reduced his visibility.

But the main reason behind all this is not only his family, but actually King himself, who set out to copyright his speech, just like any American authors and artists have done for centuries. The only problem is how far and for how long the copyright should be extended.

In King's case they can claim the copyright only till 2038 as the laws allow, but the speech is on youtube and if one is interested in watching it now is the chance before the family pulls it down again.

OneIndia News

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