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 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Most of us would be surprised to learn the the common song "Happy Birthday to You" is actually under copyright. Or at least that is the long-standing claim of our beloved Warner Music Group. It's not a claim they will surrender lightly: the song earns Warner some $2 million per year. This article in today's NY Times describes a challenge by the documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/nyregion/lawsuit-aims-to-strip-happy-birthday-to-you-of-its-copyright.html?_r=0

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Most of us would be surprised to learn the the common song "Happy Birthday to You" is actually under copyright. Or at least that is the long-standing claim of our beloved Warner Music Group. It's not a claim they will surrender lightly: the song earns Warner some $2 million per year. This article in today's NY Times describes a challenge by the documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/nyregion/lawsuit-aims-to-strip-happy-birthday-to-you-of-its-copyright.html?_r=0


I'm glad someone's finally challenging this. As Prof. Brauneis says in the article above, the song isn't owned by anyone. The tune was composed over a hundred years ago and the "Happy Birthday" lyrics apparently existed well before the song was copyrighted in 1935. And it's surely no coincidence that a copyright was obtained right at the time that the notion of a "classical Hollywood" style of film scoring began to emerge that included frequent references to well-known songs.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 9:03 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I never really considered it a "song". It's more of a "greeting" for the lack of a better term. Anyway, of all things this was spoofed on a Disney Channel show a few years ago. A running joke where when ever someone tried to sing, "Happy Birthday To You", they were cut off after, "Happ..."

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 9:10 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)



LOL - nice one, Octoberman.

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   Frank DeWald   (Member)

Most of us would be surprised to learn the the common song "Happy Birthday to You" is actually under copyright. Or at least that is the long-standing claim of our beloved Warner Music Group. It's not a claim they will surrender lightly: the song earns Warner some $2 million per year. This article in today's NY Times describes a challenge by the documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/nyregion/lawsuit-aims-to-strip-happy-birthday-to-you-of-its-copyright.html?_r=0


I wonder what Quartet had to pay for its use in Alex North's SHANKS? It's duly noted with an asterisk in the credits (for track 16, "The Birthday Party").

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   Tom Guernsey   (Member)

Would I be right in thinking that the copyright claimed over the song (or greeting, if you will... hadn't thought of it that way before, but seems apt) is why lots of American TV shows use "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" when it's a character's birthday? Even though, in reality, I don't know anyone who would use that... copyright law is a shocking state of affairs, totally twisted beyond its original purpose into a perpetual money making machine rather than a way to protect artists while promoting them to write more as was, I understand, the original intent. Ho hum.

 
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