Happy Birthday To You, Copyrighted

by kchatham on July 9, 2013

Warner/Chappel Music, a music publishing company in the United States of America, claims and exerts copyright in the ubiquitous song “Happy Birthday to You”. It requires that royalty payments should be made to it each and every time this song is sung or used in public. This is a startling proposition as most people probably assume that the song is in the public domain and is free for use by all. An American documentary film maker agrees and is objecting to having to pay royalties to include the song in a film. It has consequently commenced legal proceedings before the US court seeking a declaration that the song is out of copyright and in the public domain. These court proceeding are currently attracting attention world-wide due to their somewhat bizarre nature.

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