Enlarge / Pete Seeger and his daughter Tinya at a festival in Beacon, New York, in 2013. (credit: Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
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. One  a non-profit organization called the “We Shall Overcome Foundation” that is seeking to make a movie about the song,
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