Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jimmy Carter – Nobel Lecture

Jimmy Carter – Nobel Lecture. On December 10, 2002 in Oslo, Norway, Jimmy Carter accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. He was only the third American President to win this award. He was the first to win after leaving office though. (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson also won it.)

He gave a fairly substantial speech (the Nobel Lecture) when he accepted. However, unlike other speeches made by American Presidents, this one is not in the public domain. The copyright is held by The Nobel Foundation.

Most presidential speeches are either pre-1923 (and by definition in the public domain) or spoken in a public setting that offers no copyright protection. This is why it is easy to find hundreds of sites on the Web (usually with extensive advertising included) that reproduce the thousands of presidential addresses and writings.

This is not the case with the Nobel Lecture of Jimmy Carter. If you reproduce it digitally without permission, you risk being sued for copyright infringement. As such, only a few sites have the text of this speech online.

Does the average searcher miss out when they can see this speech without advertising included? Not at all. However, it does make it less likely that the average Web surfer will find the lecture in the first place if it is in only a few places. This lecture was an important one and I think the Nobel Foundation is making a mistake by being too restrictive in the electronic publication of the lecture. It will be in the public domain someday. Why reduce the importance and impact of the Carter Nobel Lecture by stifling the spread of the text across the Internet?

Here are a few paragraphs from the speech. The small amount I am reproducing is for educational purposes and fits the fair use provision of American copyright law.

From the site:

It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I accept this prize. I am grateful to my wife Rosalynn, to my colleagues at The Carter Center, and to many others who continue to seek an end to violence and suffering throughout the world. The scope and character of our Center's activities are perhaps unique, but in many other ways they are typical of the work being done by many hundreds of nongovernmental organizations that strive for human rights and peace.

Most Nobel Laureates have carried out our work in safety, but there are others who have acted with great personal courage. None has provided more vivid reminders of the dangers of peacemaking than two of my friends, Anwar Sadat and Yitzak Rabin, who gave their lives for the cause of peace in the Middle East.

Like these two heroes, my first chosen career was in the military, as a submarine officer. My shipmates and I realized that we had to be ready to fight if combat was forced upon us, and we were prepared to give our lives to defend our nation and its principles. At the same time, we always prayed fervently that our readiness would ensure that there would be no war.

1 comment:

Jennie W said...

I like your little copyright cavaet. I know that many educators use and abuse "fair use," but we librarians have to actually understand it!