The Martin Luther King Estate and record label EMI own the rights to the speech and have banned it from YouTube use, despite its historical significance.
The Huffington Post Reports:
And yet, because CBS settled with the family out of court for an undisclosed sum, the law never fully considered the matter of the speech’s copyright. Today, the audio version of the speech can be hard to come by, and unabridged film footage of it has escaped the cultural memory banks of YouTube. The single unabridged video that had been floating around YouTube is now unplayable, thanks to a copyright claim by EMI.
Excerpts from the speech can still be used under “fair use,” of course, like in this analysis of King’s rhetoric and various remixes. (My favorite MLK remix is not of the “I have a dream” speech but of the ’I’ve been to the mountaintop’ speech. But no one knows what the limits of “fair use” are, at least not until they receive a letter frhttp://newsone.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpom the King family’s lawyers.