“Forgotten Hollywood”- We Shall Overcome in Public Domain

Posted on January 30, 2018 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Civil rights anthem,  We Shall Overcome, which was quoted by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the day prior to his assassination, and was made popular by folk singer Pete Seeger, has been declared a part of Public Domain. Ludlow Music, the song’s publisher, agreed in a Manhattan Federal Court last week to back down on claims of copyright after losing a summary judgment in the case. The lawsuit was filed by the  We Shall Overcome Foundation, a group that wanted to make a documentary about the iconic composition; and Butler Films, which produced The Butler in 2013.

“`The origins of the lyrics were unknown. But, precursors outlined in this lawsuit include hymns and African-American spirituals. In the 1940s, We Will Overcome was used by striking tobacco workers in South Carolina. The song was then taught at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, an educational center that trained labor organizers, as well as civil-rights leaders, including King, Rosa Parks, and John Lewis.

“`Ludlow filed for copyright of a version of the song in 1960, and in 1963, to place Seeger’s name as a co-writer (Pete asked to be removed from the copyright). Proceeds from royalties are awarded at Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee for scholarships in art and cultural projects for African-American communities.

“`In September, a federal judge ruled the melody and lyrics of the copyrighted version are not sufficiently original to qualify as a derivative work entitled to copyright. This paved the way for this most recent decision.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 at 12:01 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Comments are closed.