Happy Birthday Song Released to Public Domain

Anonymous Coward
in legal on (#NH4D)
For a long time the copyright held over the song "Happy Birthday to you" has been held up by those opposed to copyright in its current form as a clear example of copyright abuse. The song is based on a tune written before 1893 by Mildred Hill and Patty Hill titles "Good Morning to All". Today the copyright for this song is claimed to be held by Warner/Chappell Music. Two years ago Warner/Chappell Music attempted to collect royalties from a company working on a documentary film. In a judgement handed down by U.S. District Judge George H. King the original copyright only covered the musical arrangement not the lyrics and the Happy Birthday song is now in the public domain.

Inaccurate title: Happy birthday song was not copyrighted (Score: 1)

by kwerle@pipedot.org on 2015-09-25 15:49 (#NJ5V)

The judge found that Warner/Chappell do not hold copyright to the song. It's not that it was released, it's that it was never really held.
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