You will have to look long and hard to find a better example of how absurd the current practice of copyright laws have become: Today, as internet activists celebrates their Internet Freedom Day, and the day before the official Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the video recording of Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech is removed by several video sharing services from websites who do not have the proper authorization to publish the video…
“Martin Luther King Jr.‘s heirs have been ridiculously aggressive in claiming copyright over every aspect of anything related to MLK — and they seek large sums of money from people for doing things like quoting him.”
I’m not sure if today’s copyright violators acted in good faith when they decided to encourage each other to post a video clip of freedom activist Martin Luther King Jr.’s historical “I have a dream” speech to mark their international Internet Freedom Day. It may also have been a deliberate provocation to prove a point, knowing with certainty that the greedy lawyers from the King family would be all over them before they could spell “infringement”. Well, point proven.
The guys at techdirt.com have been quite busy today, talking a lot about the Internet Freedom Day, and the anniversary of the SOPA/PIPA blackout.
According to the website, folks at Fight for the Future noticed the proximity of Internet Freedom Day to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and decided that an interesting form of celebrating internet freedom would be to share a video of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream…” speech.
However, as tecdirt.com points out:
“As you may or may not know, Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs have been ridiculously aggressive in claiming copyright over every aspect of anything related to MLK — and they seek large sums of money from people for doing things like quoting him. When the MLK Memorial was recently built in Washington DC, the family was able to get nearly $800,000 just to use his words and likeness.”
But then there is the other side to the story:
The Fight for the Future video was not just the Luther King Jr. video, it also contained some additional explanation of how expanding copyright laws could impact people for doing something as simple as sharing the MLK video — and then it included some of the speech.
So, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the “I have a dream” video that future fighters was urging people to share was quickly taken down.
It is unclear if the video takedown was due to a notice from the copyright owners, or if the sharing services was being proactive.
Anyway, I kinda agree with the internet activists on their final remark:
“It seems fairly ridiculous that on Internet Freedom Day, and just before Martin Luther King Day, we’re still dealing with takedowns on such powerful words.”
Related by econoTwist’s:
- Norway To Get Its Own SOPA
- Protecting Panties: Victoria’s Secret Uses DMCA To Suppress Public Criticism
- Furious Ferrari Crash Car Enthusiasts Website
- Bank of America Blocks Certain Websites
- Google Removes More Than 350.000 Websites Every Day
Other related articles:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Speeches Still Hold Significance Today (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘I Have a Dream’ Posted in Defiance of Copyright for Internet Freedom Day (mashable.com)
- It’s Internet Freedom Day: time to share MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech (boingboing.net)
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