"Happy Birthday" is finally free

Brians Evil Twin

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And it only took 80 years!

All the "Happy Birthday" song copyright claims are invalid, federal judge rules - LA Times

None of the companies that have collected royalties on the "Happy Birthday" song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday.

In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the "Happy Birthday To You" song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.

Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song.
 

Frankg11

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thank goodness. With more than a dozen nieces and nephews I was afraid that I was going to have to report usage to RIAA BMG and other Alphabet organizations when I play for birthday parties.
 

Ermghoti

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Hopefully this means an end to the awful, clappy, birthday raps that plague family restaurants.
 

bilbarstow

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Well, Mildred and Patty Hill must be rolling in their graves.

"It took two people to write that song ? ! ? " quoth Isaac Jaffee (Robert Guillaume) in Sports Night, episode 4, Intellectual Property.

And Dan Ridell is now free to sing it (without being vaguely gay) to his television friends.

/TV nerd
 

BrianB

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Sweet. And just in time for my birthday next week.

I'll expect the lot of you to sing me a rousing rendition. :cool:
 

efstop

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You need someone like Marilyn Monroe to sing an arousing rendition.
 

hecube

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There's still a chance for an appeal.

Two-million dollars in revenues annually at stake here.
 

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