Friday, March 11, 2011

Fair Use Fridays: Is The National Anthem A Stolen British Drinking Song?

Rocketboom and Know Your Meme discuss in the video above the history of GI Joe Mashups on the internet and apply the principles of fair use in copyright law to our National Anthem.

From Wikipedia's Star Spangled Banner entry:

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "The Anacreontic Song" (or "To Anacreon in Heaven"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one and a half octaves, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the song has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today, with the fourth ("O! thus be it ever when free men shall stand...") added on more formal occasions. The fourth stanza includes the line "And this be our motto: In God is our Trust.".[2] The United States adopted "In God We Trust" as its national motto in 1956.

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