You know which song you never hear on TV or sung by the waitstaff at Friday’s? Happy Birthday.
The reason is simple. Happy Birthday is owned by Warner/Chappell Music Inc. At least that was their claim.
For years they’ve collected millions in public performance fees. That stops today.
U.S. District Judge George H. King determined the song’s original copyright, obtained by the Clayton F. Summy Co. from the song’s writers, only covered specific piano arrangements of the song and not its lyrics. The basic tune of the song, derived from another popular children’s song, “Good Morning to All,” has long been in the public domain. – AP via Yahoo!
Expect to hear it on the radio a lot over the next few days.
This will surely be appealed. Happy Birthday is the goose that lays the golden egg. It seems silly how our copyright laws have been twisted to prevent just what copyright limitations were supposed to allow!