The Happy Birthday Song & Copyright

If you all haven’t heard, a really interesting decision on copyright has recently been made in the USA!

If you ever wondered why you got sung some weird version of ‘Happy Birthday’ at TGI Fridays, or why movies and advertisements rarely contained the commonplace and beloved song – it was because of the exorbitant royalties companies charged for its use. But now – “[n]one of the companies that have collected royalties on the “Happy Birthday” song for the past 80 years held a valid copyright claim to one of the most popular songs in history, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled on Tuesday.” The song is now considered a public work and is free for everyone to use! Hooray! 🙂

You can read the full story from the Los Angeles Times here.

It will be interesting to see how many people now try and claim their money back!

Keep an ear out and see if you notice the use of the song more widely now. I think its a spectacular move forward – freedom of song all the way!

Many happy returns,

Michelle De Aizpurua

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