Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
If you think that Warner/Chappell's copyright control over the song Happy Birthday is an absurdity, how about EMI's strict licensing enforcement over many of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches, including his historic "I Have a Dream Speech," delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago today.
I discovered this while performing research for an episode of my radio show that aired last night honoring the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. I was aiming to air King's entire speech and was having trouble finding clean audio of it. In my hunting, I came upon articles (here and here and an op-ed in the Washington Post here) chronicling the history of the King family estate's battles to preserve ownership of MLK's "performances."
In just the sort of act of civil disobedience Dr. King championed, the entire speech does keep popping up on Youtube and elsewhere, but the copyright cops keep getting them taken down.
The sale and broadcast of Henry Hampton's award-winning 1987 documentary Eyes on the Prize was held up for ages because the King Estate sued the filmmaker over use of unlicensed footage of King, including his "I Have a Dream" speech. Ironically, Hampton's film was further legally entangled by its inclusion of another piece of historic footage: a scene depicting Martin Luther King's staff singing him "Happy Birthday."
Various ~ Folk Music In America (15 volumes)
(Blog: Dinosaur Discs)
Your Tax Dollars at Work
"Folk Music in America is a series of 15 LP records published by the Library of Congress between 1976 and 1978 to celebrate the bicentennial of the American Revolution. It was curated by librarian/collector-cum-discographer Richard K. Spottswood, and funded by a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The music, pulled primarily from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song (now Archive of Folk Culture), spans nearly a century (1890-1976) and virtually every form that can be considered American music. This includes native American songs and instrumental music, music of immigrant cultures from all over the world, and uniquely American forms like blues, jazz and country." (Description by Dinosaur Discs)