Lawsuit seeks to end 'We Shall Overcome' copyright

US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (C) waves to supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Monument in background) during the "March on Washington". Lawyers are seeking to put "We Shall Overcome," the emblematic song of the US civil rights. FILE PHOTO | NATYION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Ludlow Music filed to register the copyright of the song in 1960 and 1963, citing in part the new adaptation by the leftist folk singer Pete Seeger.
  • But the lawsuit quoted Seeger as noting himself the roots of the song and suggesting that he may have changed the lyrics from the original "We Will Overcome."
  • The law firm was approached to take up the case after a successful legal wrangle on the rights to "Happy Birthday to You," often considered the most popular song in the world.



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