‘I Have A Dream’ Speech Copyrighted For Another 25 Years « CBS DC

The civil rights leader Martin Luther KIng (C) waves to supporters on Aug. 28, 1963 on the Mall in Washington D.C. (credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — There’s a lot of talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech circulating this week, due to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

But have you actually heard the 17-minute speech in its entirety recently? Or ever?

If not, that’s not too surprising. As it turns out, the iconic piece of American history is copyrighted.

King copyrighted it himself a few months after first reciting it, and his estate has maintained control over the copyright since his death in 1968, the Washington Post reports.

The words won’t enter public domain until 2038. Until then, using or reproducing the speech without a licensing fee will be a crime, the report says.

Of course, you can always read the speech in full on the National Archives website. You can also purchase an audio copy.

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