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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Martin Luther King Jr. - A Sad Legacy

No - not King's civil rights legacy, but rather the tragicomic copyright legacy which prevents others from hearing his words and has now reduced King's historical significance in today's news to a question of who controls the money generated by having his image on a T-shirt.

If such restrictions can be placed on King's words and image, then why couldn't they be placed on any other public figure including Presidents and other elected officials?

The implications for historical inquiry are staggering.


Comments

New York Times story: "King's Children May Sue Over Planned Biographical Film"

Associated Press story: "DreamWorks: King biopic requires unity from family"

These stories are rather terse, but what is unfortunate is that they don't disclose the shame that copyright has become. Even Obama's gift of DVD's to Brown that wouldn't work in England due to regional encoding was never adequately explained to the American public as a "failure" of our copyright laws. Regretfully, most of the so-called reporting amounts to nothing more than plagiarizing press-releases.

In the haste to tie this matter with a neat and tidy "copyright bow", perhaps it would help to again review the article and note that it is an internal squabble between siblings that is based upon contract law.
MLS - The following is taken directly from the article:

"DreamWorks touted the project in a press release as the first theatrical motion picture authorized by the estate using King's intellectual property, including copyrighted speeches and other works..."

The clear implication in that sentence is that one cannot repeat King's speeches in a non-fair use context without the estate's permission because they are copyrighted or otherwise protected by intellectual property laws. If that is the case, then the principle could be applied to the speeches of any President or other public figure.

How is this mis characterizing it as a copyright issue? And what "contract" are you talking specifically. I didn't see it mentioned in the article.

When the King siblings refer to their "parents' intellectual property" as stated in the article, what do you suppose they are referring to?

What realistic hope should anyone have of retaining copyright for a public speech? It's in public. One would presume the point is to get one's ideas out to the public. To whom one is speaking. This is just insanity.

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