MLK Children Abusing IP Law (Again) To Try To Squeeze Money Out Of Anyone Who Honors Him

from the so-sad dept

We've discussed, in the past, the rather sad propensity of Martin Luther King Jr.'s estate to aggressively abuse copyright law to stop people from honoring the slain civil rights leader. The latest is that Stephen Spielberg has signed up to do a biopic of MLK Jr. Now, to film a biography, you don't need any rights from the person or their heirs -- but sometimes moviemakers still buy the unnecessary "rights" in order to have a closer working relationship with folks who have more knowledge or info about the person or events that are being filmed. That appears to be what happened here, where Dreamworks licensed the rights to make the movie -- including "licensing" some of King's famous speeches. However, some of Kings children are apparently threatening to sue over this, claiming they had no input in the deal and this is a violation of their intellectual property rights.

Of course, this also highlights a fun point for those who pitch the idea that copyright should last forever and descend to the heirs of the content creator. As the ownership gets spread out among younger generations, getting them to agree on anything will be quite unlikely. In any case, it's a sad "legacy" the MLK estate is leaving here, concerning the overly aggressive "protection" of copyrights against those who clearly wish to honor the man's own legacy.

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  1. identicon
    Tgeigs, 22 May 2009 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Stereotypes

    "As obnoxious as that post is, I'd rather we counter such bigotry with a response that shows bigotry for what it is. Simply deleting a bigot's post only reinforces their ideas that they are right. I agree that the post is hateful and uncalled for, but I don't believe in censorship. I believe in exposing bigotry for being bigotry."

    Wait a second, sir, who in the world says what Tact posted was bigotry? He said stereotypes don't make themselves up and that can be true in a lot of ways. It's a matter of interpretation. If his point is that African Americans are all lazy jackasses, well then yeah, he's a bigot and an assclown to boot. But perhaps it was merely a comment on a systemic cultural problem that many African American communties have had for a long time, which is the instillation of a hardy work ethic and also the instillation that you can "rise above". That seemse to have gone by the wayside in today's poorer African American communities, being replaced by things like "the white man doesn't like me", "the ghetto is cool", and "anything for this fast money, yo". To pretend that doesn't exist perpetuates the problem. Even the Prez has remarked in many of his speeches that the African American community has a serious problem within their ranks, mostly with the issue of fathers being responsible for their children.

    "As for tack's original comment: just what "stereotype" are you talking about? The stereotype of MLK Jr. is that he was a brilliant man, a charismatic leader who, in the face of amazing danger helped lead and inspire an entire generation. What's wrong with that?"

    Don't play dumb just to counter phantom racism. Stereotypes are about groups, not one brilliant man (and he was ridiculously brilliant). You do a fine job of not impeding on free speech, but blanket mischaracterizations of what was said does NOT asist in the argument.

    "Having spent plenty of time discussing these issues, I can tell you that people on all sides of this issue seem to be pretty evenly distributed in terms of creed, color, religion, ethnicity gender or race"

    Agreed, that's one of the reasons I like this site, and internet threads in general, because it can take things like racism, sexism, etc. out of the equation and focus on the issue. But pretending that varied systemic problems and issues don't exist within just about every race, creed, color, religion, and gender doesn't help.

    I'll be clear: racism is wrong, thinking that certain people don't have equal capacity because of their race is just scientifically stupid. But pretending like there aren't problems unique to race, religion, etc. is equally dumb. One stereotype is that African Americans today have an entitlement issue: slave reparations, affirmative action, welfare, etc. etc. There is a reason that overblown stereotype exists.

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