Judge Rules “Happy Birthday” Song Copyright Is Not Valid

  • metta

    Posts: 39161

    Sep 23, 2015 5:21 AM GMT
    Judge Rules “Happy Birthday” Song Copyright Is Not Valid


    Warner/Chappell Music has claimed the lucrative copyright for “Happy Birthday To You” for decades, reportedly bringing in millions each year.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimdalrympleii/judge-rules-happy-birthday-copyright-is-not-valid
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 23, 2015 12:27 PM GMT
    Warner/Chappell Music bought the rights for $15million in 1988 and have reportedly been making about $2million pa from it ever since. That's a tidy profit ($39million), though not so good if they end up having to pay it back. Perhaps they will only have to pay back half, given the judgement appears to have decided they own the rights to (certain arrangements of) the tune, but not to the lyrics.

    It appears that, at some point, "Good Morning to All" and "Happy Birthday to You", which share the same melody, became synonymous for the purposes of copyright, but shouldn't have.

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Sep 24, 2015 9:16 PM GMT
    When I lived in Fiji (1994 - 2004), "Happy Birthday" was often sung at birthdays. I warned them that they could be arrested for it because of the copyright but they sung it anyway. It's popular all over the world. The copyright owners would be fabulously rich if they could actually enforce the copyright.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 25, 2015 11:34 PM GMT
    They can only enforce the copyright if it's being used in a venue where profit is being made. That's why restaurants would come up with their own birthday song. But this ruling may mean that they no longer have to.