|Collage created by Rosetta Cash|
One of the aspects that really got my attention in viewing and reading the material this week is the fact that because of private ownership important culturally relevant materials are no longer available to be viewed. I find it appalling that Eyes on the Prize and other important documentaries are, in my opinion, being held hostage if you will. I mean, $500,000 as a relicensing fee, really! It makes me wonder (my conspiracy theorist mindset) if it was deliberately done to keep it from the public eye. Just a thought. I do know that there are people who think about nothing but money and perhaps it is just as simple as the “almighty dollar.”
Mind you, I was told several years ago that Michael Jackson owned the copyright for the song “Happy Birthday” which is why when you are dining in restaurants and someone is celebrating a birthday; the staff has made up a celebratory birthday song to sing to patrons. What I didn’t know was that it would cost $15,000 per verse.
As stated in the short video “Eyes on the Fair Use of the Prize,” “unwieldy copyright laws and extortionate royalty fees are forever changing history.” It seems that the history being affected / changes relates to culturally relevant materials that tell African and African American stories, my history. So how does one combat this? How can this be rectified? When you change one peoples history you change the history of the world, we are all affected.