Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Martin Luther King Jr. - A Sad Legacy

No - not King's civil rights legacy, but rather the tragicomic copyright legacy which prevents others from hearing his words and has now reduced King's historical significance in today's news to a question of who controls the money generated by having his image on a T-shirt.

If such restrictions can be placed on King's words and image, then why couldn't they be placed on any other public figure including Presidents and other elected officials?

The implications for historical inquiry are staggering.


New York Times story: "King's Children May Sue Over Planned Biographical Film"

Associated Press story: "DreamWorks: King biopic requires unity from family"

These stories are rather terse, but what is unfortunate is that they don't disclose the shame that copyright has become. Even Obama's gift of DVD's to Brown that wouldn't work in England due to regional encoding was never adequately explained to the American public as a "failure" of our copyright laws. Regretfully, most of the so-called reporting amounts to nothing more than plagiarizing press-releases.

In the haste to tie this matter with a neat and tidy "copyright bow", perhaps it would help to again review the article and note that it is an internal squabble between siblings that is based upon contract law.
MLS - The following is taken directly from the article:

"DreamWorks touted the project in a press release as the first theatrical motion picture authorized by the estate using King's intellectual property, including copyrighted speeches and other works..."

The clear implication in that sentence is that one cannot repeat King's speeches in a non-fair use context without the estate's permission because they are copyrighted or otherwise protected by intellectual property laws. If that is the case, then the principle could be applied to the speeches of any President or other public figure.

How is this mis characterizing it as a copyright issue? And what "contract" are you talking specifically. I didn't see it mentioned in the article.

When the King siblings refer to their "parents' intellectual property" as stated in the article, what do you suppose they are referring to?

What realistic hope should anyone have of retaining copyright for a public speech? It's in public. One would presume the point is to get one's ideas out to the public. To whom one is speaking. This is just insanity.

Submit Comment

Blog Post


Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code



Most Recent Comments

Some history

Killing people with patents SYSSY

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rerwerwerwer

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Thank you for this great

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime Eu acho que os direitos autorais da invenção ou projeto devem ser

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy https://essaywritingsolutions.co.uk/

Your Compulsory Assignment for Tonight rerrerrr

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rwerwewre

An analysis of patent trolls by a trademark lawyer

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good

Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,