EMI partners with MLK estate

Label expanding digital reach of slain civil rights leader

NEW YORK -- EMI Music Publishing has signed a long-term global deal to represent the intellectual property of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Under the terms, EMI will create new revenue streams by expanding the use of Dr King's teachings, sermons in musical settings on CDs, online and in all digital media.

As part of the deal, EMI will work closely with Intellectual Properties Management (IPM), the company that manages the licensing program for the King Estate. IPM will continue to administer and process all non-music requests for King's name, image and likeness and recorded voice and rights of publicity. IPM will also work with EMI to create a licensing regime for online uses of King's work, name and likeness as it applies to existing non-approved uses.

"We have been engaged to use the skills we have refined defending the rights and expanding the market for music to do the same for the works of Dr. King," EMI Music Publishing chairman and CEO Roger Faxon said. "Assuring that Dr. King's words are accorded the same protection and same right for compensation as other copyrights works is a profound responsibility, and we are proud of the confidence that the Estate has placed in us to fulfill that responsibility."

Included in King's body of work are numerous legendary speeches and sermons which helped shape the course of the civil rights movement, including "Our God Is Marching On!" (1965), "I See The Promised Land" (1968) and "I Have A Dream" (1963).

King's words have been featured in a number of music projects, including Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" and on country band Sugarland's album "Enjoy The Ride."

Born in Atlanta in 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, and his efforts to deliver racial equality through civil disobedience and other non-violent means led to the March on Washington in 1963, at which he delivered his renowned "I Have a Dream" speech. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. King, who was assassinated in 1968, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.