Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Not Public Domain?

On this day in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech in Washington, DC, which is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the greatest speeches in American history.

In honor of that, I had hoped to post a video of the speech in its entirety, but I nixed that plan after reading THIS article (The Washington Post, January 15, 2006) which states that Dr. King’s speeches are not public domain. They are owned by his family and "those who want to hear or use the speech in its entirety must buy a copy sanctioned by the King family, which receives the proceeds."

I can certainly understand that the family doesn’t want others to make money off of Dr. King’s speeches, but by denying people the right to even hear them (unless they pay for it)...well, there’s an entire generation of kids who may never hear this very powerful, inspiring speech (although they might hear small portions of it).

I am not criticizing the family for their decision, because I have no right to do that. The situation just makes me sad. And I have to wonder if maybe Dr. King himself would have been sadden by it. Personally, I think he might have been.

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