JFK Speech

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nathansmind, Jul 16, 2010.

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  1. nathansmind

    nathansmind Active Member

    May 5, 2010
    I Just finished a recording of a song that uses a part of JFK's We CHoose the Moon speech. Before I start selling this things I was wondering if there were and government speech copyright laws I should be aware of.
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    You are in a tricky situation, technically I believe the recording of the speech is copyright material of the persons who recorded it eg: CBS News, but I don't really know for how long that is true. Was that speech recorded by multiple news sources? If so could anyone really prove which recording you were using? Here is a link to a book excerpt on the subject, though the excerpt is copyright material, lol Getting Permission: How to License ... - Google Books

    The real answer is you would have to contact an attorney as this is really a legal question.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    I believe the written manuscript of Presidential speeches are considered to be the definition of public domain - but as JG says, the phonorecording or video recording are a completely separate issue subject to copyright. Chances are some network technically owns the recording, so it will depend on where you obtained the JFK recording.

    Public Domain Status of the written Presidential Speeches is covered here: Whitehouse Policy

    and here: U Penn Copyright reference

    NPR has an audio report on this very topic. including a discussion with an official from the LOC. on "Fair Use" and "Public Domain" use of politicians and their speeches.

    So.... worst case scenario..... how good is your JFK impersonation?
  4. nathansmind

    nathansmind Active Member

    May 5, 2010
    Hmmm... That is interestng. Thanks for the NPR Link. You wouldn't happen to have some more information of fair use would you? Maybe just the basics?

    I got my audio clip of JFK from a youtube video, and who knows where that came from. The clip is by no means essencial to my song, just a little spice if you will, but I think I'm going to investigate some more on the copyright stuff. I'm sure it will come in handy down the road.
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