via the Daily Mail by KIERAN CORCORAN
Selma, the civil rights movie about Martin Luther King, was made without using any direct quotation from the man for fear of being sued by his family, it has emerged.
The Hollywood film, starring David Oyelowo as King, features setpiece orations from the events around his marches from Selma, Alabama, to state capital Montgomery - but they are deliberate approximations rather than his actual words.
Filmmakers Paramount, who released the movie on December 25 in the U.S., wanted to use his actual words, but studiously avoided it so they would not be sued by his famously litigious descendants.
King's speeches are protected under copyright, and the rights to use them has already been licensed to Steven Spielberg for a film which is yet to be produced, Britain's Sunday Times reported.
As a result key parts of the pivotal protests marches in 1965 have been rewritten to dodge the rights issue.
For instance, King's chant of 'Give us the ballot' was tweaked to be 'Give us the vote'. While an accusing demand spoken over the body of a protester is rendered in the film as 'Who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson?' - in reality he asked 'Who killed him?'
An earlier account by the Hollywood Reporter said that Paramount tried to negotiate rights from Dreamworks and Warner Bros, who are linked to the Spielberg project, but failed.
They did not approach King's descendants directly, the Reporter said, realizing it was a lost cause.
A spokesman for the film said: 'There were no negotiations, - the film does not use any copyrighted material.'
King's family, who run Intellectual Properties Management Inc to protect and license his work, have previous sued USA Today and CBS for reproducing parts of his speeches without paying for rights first.
It remains a social injustice that the family of MLK continues to insist on royalties for usage of his speeches & writings. It is the main reason his great, inspiring words are not rebroadcast and reprinted to inspire new generations.— Jay Weber (@JayWeber3) January 15, 2018
The family of Dr. King insisting on royalties and blocking his speeches and writings from being reprinted and rebroadcast has also made it easy for others to bastardize his message over the years.— Jay Weber (@JayWeber3) January 15, 2018