Judge throws out 57-year-old copyright on “We Shall Overcome”

A federal judge ruled (PDF) on Friday that the most famous verse of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” is not copyrighted.

The ruling is a decisive, but still incomplete win for the two plaintiffs. One of those plaintiffs is a charity group called the “We Shall Overcome Foundation” that’s making a movie about the song, and the other is Butler Films LLC, a company that paid $15,000 to license just several seconds of the song for the movie “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Plaintiff’s attorney Randall Newman hopes the two organizations will represent a class-action case comprised of people who were charged royalties for using the song.

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Read the original at Ars Technica.