Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' Video Taken Down On Internet Freedom Day

from the more-like-a-nightmare dept

We've been talking a lot today about Internet Freedom Day, and the anniversary of the SOPA/PIPA blackout. The folks at Fight for the Future noticed the proximity of Internet Freedom Day to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and decided an interesting form of celebrating internet freedom would be to share a video of MLK's famous "I have a dream..." speech. 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.

The FftF video was not just the MLK video, but 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 I guess it should come as little surprise that the "I have a dream..." video that FftF was urging people to share has already been taken down (it's unclear if the takedown was due to a notice or Vimeo being proactive).
It seems fairly ridiculous that on Internet Freedom Day, and just before MLK Day, we're still dealing with takedowns on such powerful words.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Travis, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    I effing hate copyright

    That's beyond ridiculous, that speech is a part of history. Ugh.. There is no depth to my hatred for copyright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 11:45am

    I have a dream

    That one day we will live in a world where copyright and patents will work in the favour of everyone (public/creators/companies etc).

    Probably not in my lifetime though, and I'm only 30 :-(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    MLK? So what??

    Upon reading this, I realized that I never actually heard the entire MLK speech in my life. All the years through school, I'd only heard the name and the "I have a dream" phrase. Just tried to look it up to listen to it for the first time and received the copyrighted notice. Apparently, the day isn't important enough for people to hear the speech. Martin Luther King is apparently, and the day, not as important as copyrights.

    And since we have our fill of copyrights in the world, I guess it's safe to say that Martin Luther King Day just isn't that important. So who cares? Not important to me, then I don't have to give a damn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Annoying

    These things are so annoying. When heirs of historical figures do things like this, I think we should just erase them from history and attribute everything good that they did to someone else.

    So, Monday, I am celebrating Whoopi Goldberg Day. I hope you will all join me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Forget history asap, eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    anonymouse, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    SAD!!!!

    I think MLK would have been disgusted and disowned his family for this, those thieving greedy no good..........ok i will stop there.

    No i won't, this is history, imagine if the history books could not be written because every person or entity in any history book sought financial gain from discussing their great great grandparents history, sickening and so so sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Copyright is being used to destroy a man's legacy. If his words can't be heeard they will fade from memory.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    dr evil, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    I'm disgusted too

    that the heirs asked for and/or received payment for a freakin memorial. jeeze. copyright to this comment can be obtained via my attorneys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: I effing hate copyright

    All speech is a part of history. That's what's at stake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    anonymouse, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: SAD!!!!

    Actually i think we should cancel MLK day, no more, and if anyone brings it up just say it is internet freedom day and the MLK family does not believe in freedom, as he did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    I think I am going to Youtube and find some moonshine video tutorials now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    In all the fairness... if you search youtube for "I have a dream speech", you'll find plenty. The top one is uploaded a year ago and has 1.7M views. Why was not it taken down (among a dozen others)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    If it was a public speech, given in public, to the public, how can it not be public domain?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    nice, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    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.


    im sure there father would be proud of what there doing...

    but hey im just a white devil what would i know?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    kenichi tanaka, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    This is fucking ridiculous. (sorry for the expletive, see my following comment).

    I guess someone should tell Dr. Martin Luthor King that his "Dream is Dead"!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    Deeper and deeper... They really need to stop giving out those 'Get Out of Rule of Law Free' cards. Carte Blanche and coke just don't mix.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Zos (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs

    managed to find a copy on youtube with over a million views that somehow hasn't been dmca'd.

    original, not the internet freedom version, but still i was surprised to find it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    PlagueSD (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:32pm


    im sure there father would be proud of what there doing...


    There, their, and they're. Three different words. You used the wrong one...twice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Annoying

    How about Paul Robeson instead?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    I have always considered MLK day in the same way I view Kwanza.

    A holiday for some, but not really all of us..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    kenichi tanaka, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    It's nice to see black people issuing DMCA takedowns of civil rights speeches made by black people. I don't know what you call this when black people are censoring themselves.

    Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech should be in the public domain because it should be a speech that everyone should be able to watch and hear. Inistead, his family wants to censor their father's own speech. WOW! Racism in Reverse.

    Wouldn't their father be proud of them.

    The Dream is dead!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    nice, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    Yeah sorry i tend to lose focus when i read something depressing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: I effing hate copyright

    love MLK, do NOT like his greedy, grasping family...
    THEY are diluting, destroying, and disappearing HIS legacy made by HIM for THEIR personal greed...
    no better than the MAFIAA, as far as i'm concerned; in fact, worse, i expect better of them than i do of the MAFIAA...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Nigel (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: SAD!!!!

    Sadly indeed that you actually make a point there.

    I likened the Aaron Swartz situation the other day to losing the MLK of the web.

    Question: what is after irony? because I think we have exceeded it here.

    Nigel

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    streetlight (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Don't others have this speech?

    I'm wondering if some other outlet doesn't have this speech. I mean, CBS TV/Radio, NBC, ABC, NPR, PBS, BBC should have this and may own a copyright on their broadcast of it. One of them could put their video and/or audio in the public domain and thus not require royalty payments. Oh, wait ... These guys want to make a profit, so maybe this is ridiculous.

    Also the speech was given at the Lincoln Memorial in DC, so does the Federal Government have some first dibs.

    One way to solve the problem, as implied in some of the posts here, is that there never again be any presentation of Dr. King's writings, speeches, images, etc., anywhere. Of course, this would bury him from any future reference anywhere and prevent any royalties paid to the family. Sad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Goyo, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    "Este vídeo incluye contenido de Screen Media Ventures, LLC, CD Baby, Diwan Videos y de IODA, y uno o varios de estos usuarios lo han bloqueado en tu país por motivos de derechos de copyright."

    Quick and dirty translation: "This video includes content from Screen Media Ventures, LLC, CD Baby, IODA and Diwan Videos, and one or more of these users have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

    So don't worry, somebody is taking care of the copyright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    CK20XX, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    The sad thing is that this video is probably floating around The Pirate Bay right now, meaning it's probably gonna end up mirrored all over the internet before too long. For being enemies of the world, internet pirates sure do suck at that job.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Annoying

    So, Monday, I am celebrating Whoopi Goldberg Day. I hope you will all join me.

    I'm celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr day, but I prefer to dwell on the fact that if it wasn't for him, Nichelle Nichols wouldn't be the person she was. Look up the Star Talk podcast with Nichelle Nichols, and listen to her talk about her experience with MLK. Star Trek would have been an entirely different experience if she wasn't there, just as it would have been if George Takei wasn't there. I can't do justice to her story...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    trish, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    theft

    MLK was a child of humanity - we haveallowed our own culture to be stolen from us, as this great figure for all people is off limits. Disgusting but we did it to ourselves (and by that I mean, the rich did it to us, as usual.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Martin Luther King Jr., Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Hi

    Hi everyone,
    I'm dead, and I'm turning in my grave over those nappy headed relatives of mine who are still living off my coattails almost 50 years later. I'm sick they have monetized my speech as I meant for everyone to share freely in it. Don't make me get out of this here grave and go ghetto on your mofos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Jonas (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    EMI Publishing are the actual owners

    I'm not surprised at all!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    What words?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    I have a dream, but it was forgotten due to copyright laws.

    ftfy Dr. King.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Don't others have this speech?

    Copyright law actually requires a copy be provided free of charge to the Library of Congress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    MLK would be so proud of what is happening in his name! well done to his family for making his 'dream' a non-reality!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    His greedy relatives are going to make sure that MLK will be forgotten.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    I would call it copyright nazism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    First give us your credit card number.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:15pm

    I didn't even know you could copyright public speeches. Thats kinda hilarious. Copyright is a joke, but at least it makes me laught sometimes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Exactly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    I can see the video, but it has been monetized by providing Buy links for a rap track by Flex. But then it says the artist is Moodswings, and gives the writing credits for "Spiritual High Part III".

    Both Flex and Moodswings merely sampled parts of the speech in their songs. They, their record companies, non-MLK co-writers, and publishers are not entitled to a dime from plays of this video. Yet they probably are getting paid, or have the option to be. I would like to see the King estate sue all of them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    333sturm, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Especially ironic since MLK "borrowed" liberally from a speech given some years earlier by another reverend. I believe the prior speech was given at some republican convention and MLK used a good portion of it in the "I have a dream" speech.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    streetlight (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Don't others have this speech?

    I don't think that's true. One can attach a copyright notice in the proper format which includes the circled C, date and the name of who owns the copyright. By sending a copy to the Copyright and Trademark office one has stronger evidence of holding the copyright. Whether your material ends up in the Library of Congress is another matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    I have a dream

    I have a dream that when I die, my heirs will become rich.
    I have a dream that my heirs will be lazy sitting on their asses charging people to hear these words.
    I have a dream that only those rich enough to pay my heirs will be inspired from my great words.

    Only when my heirs are filthy rich will we be free at last.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Paid at last!

    Paid at last! Paid at last! Thank God Almighty, we are paid at last!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Gary Bender (profile), Jan 18th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Google it

    I found it in a few seconds. I'm not a troll. I hate copyright. But what is wrong with you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Google it

    it was taken down, sure you can find other 'illegally' uploaded files, but thats missing the point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    weneedhelp - not signed in, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 5:21pm

    Re: MLK? So what??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    weneedhelp - not signed in, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Re:

    A holiday for some, but not really all of us..

    "The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom."

    "one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!"

    See he was a visionary that wanted equality for all. He wanted all races and creeds to be united as brothers and sisters to live in harmony.

    So no, you are incorrect, it is for everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 6:09pm

    Re: MLK? So what??

    You didn't look very hard I guess. Yes his heirs are stupid but hating on MLK just makes you look stupid, even in jest.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: SAD!!!!

    pity comes after irony

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 8:06pm

    Re:

    Life has killed the dream.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    Re:

    It's a holiday for government employees, who get the privilege of a paid day off at taxpayers' expense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Baron von Robber, Jan 18th, 2013 @ 10:57pm

    Re: Re:

    You'd rather make them work at 1.5x pay?!? People with your fiscal incompetence add no the need to raise the debt ceiling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Evan, Jan 19th, 2013 @ 6:32am

    MLK #InternetFreedomDay video is back online!

    We got it back up, this time on YouTube. Keep sharing it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIshI_qxxew&feature=youtu.be

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Lazy heirs

    I have a dream, that one day my offspring will live in luxury off my toil and dreams, rather than contribute anything to society.

    I have a dream, that they will do so at the cost of my dream.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "People with your fiscal incompetence add no the need to raise the debt ceiling". Sorry, I can't make heads or tails of that sentence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 19th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    (Apologies for the blunt language)

    No no, racism would be if they were locking it up based upon the race of speaker, whereas locking it up due to thinking money is more important than history is just being a douche.

    Remember, while every racist is a douche, not every douche is a racist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jan 19th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    The preservation of culture

    Incidents like these just further solidify my belief that unless something drastic changes(like the complete collapse or re-writing of copyright law), the only way current and future culture will survive beyond the generation it appears in will be due to lawbreakers and pirates.

    If the preservation of culture was left just to the creators and owners, so very much would be lost, as for far too many as soon as the item in question stops being profitable they cease to care about preserving it for the future, though they never stop trying to kill off any unauthorized versions.

    Even today, there are a good number of books, games and videos that only still exist because someone broke the law and created a backup, or a copy of the original, though unfortunately far too much is still being lost as it's locked up beyond the point of recovery, or far past the point where it has any relevance at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    maclypse (profile), Jan 19th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    I was thinking the same thing, but then I realised: we are not thinking like the maffia: "If Martin Luther King speaking to the public is automatically public domain, how can we argue that music or anything else performed at a public event isn't?"

    Anyone that argues that King's speech should be in the public domain, will have to face off against the every copyright group in the US who will desperately defend their ability to protect their own copyrighted material. We already know they will fight tooth and nail to avoid ANY exception to copyright, even at the expense of the deaf. I very much doubt they will act any different to this "exception".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2013 @ 2:00am

    Re: MLK? So what??

    Your and undereducated over opinionated mess.

    I'm sure hitlers supporters had the same mindset when he was destroying other peoples rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 21st, 2013 @ 2:07am

    That's plain disgusting. Regardless of being MLK Estate or some automated bullshit filter it all boils down to the fact that copyright is not promoting progress or doing whatever it was intended in the first place. Instead it's doing THIS. Locking up part of our goddamn history.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jan 21st, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: MLK? So what??

    "Your and undereducated over opinionated mess". Oh. the irony...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    anon, Jan 21st, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    I decided to listen to the speech because I'd never done so before. Imagine my surprise when I heard MLK say:

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2013 @ 7:23am

    cool

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2013 @ 7:23am

    cool

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Abigail, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

    This is already on youtube

    I have found so many sites saying this was taken down/copyrighted. I am confused, it's on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs&list=PLB3074A4B8F2B63DA&index=24

    I 've watched it several times over the last couple years including in school. This whole debate is confusing to me.

    You can watch many of his other speeches at this youtube playlist:

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB3074A4B8F2B63DA

    Hope that works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This