When someone decided to post the famous “I Have A Dream” speech on the video sharing site, Vimeo, it was promptly removed by the management of that file sharer for violating copyright laws after a complaint by EMI. Apparently EMI has copyrighted and purchased the rights to the speech and sells copies of the speech on DVD and wants anyone who wants to listen to this historic speech to spend about $20 to buy a DVD from them. In reality, the total cost of a blank DVD and case, are far less than $1, so EMI has certainly spun this famous speech into corporate gold for themselves. If EMI could only find a way to profit off of Abraham Lincoln’s words as well, then they most certainly would.
There you have it, a very historic speech that has a great deal of importance to many Americans is tightly controlled by U.S. copyright laws that business lobbyists pushed congress to pass into law as well as a business that seeks to profit from the speech. Things could have become much worse under SOPA or PIPA, which could have actually made it crime to violate EMI’s monopoly of power to control the famous speech, which many persons mistaking believe was a public event or under public domain.
Perhaps, EMI should retitle their legal and copyrighted version of the famous speech, “We Have A Scheme”.
There you have it kids. Something historic, a major part of American history, turned into a profit making souvenir by some company looking to make a little money for themselves. I wonder who owns the rights to the hats and t shirts…