Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Have a Dream! Saving the Speech

I had dinner with a lawyer last night who represented the MLK estate and told the story of how the famous "I Have a Dream" speech almost went into the public domain. A district court ruled that the speech had been published without notice based on arguments by Lloyd Abrams. The court of appeal reversed after the lawyer for the estate argued you cannot say "Free at last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty I am Free at Last. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED."
I have not read the case and only had previously heard that the "I have a dream" portion of the speech was extemporaneous. I should take a look to see if I can find the decision.

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