Happy Birthday to You copyright suit filed

2013-06-14 09:15
New York - A production company making a documentary about the song Happy Birthday to You has filed a lawsuit in New York over the copyright to it.

Good Morning To You Productions Corp says in Thursday's federal court filing Warner/Chappell Music Inc has been collecting Happy Birthday to You licensing fees for years.

Warner/Chappell claims exclusive copyright to what Guinness World Records has called the most famous song in the English language.

But the film company disputes the copyright, saying the song is "dedicated to public use and in the public domain".

 It asks the court to count thousands of people and groups who've paid Warner/Chappell Music licensing fees totalling more than $5m as part of a class action and to make the song free to use.

Los Angeles-based Warner/Chappell hasn't responded to a request for comment.


  • Tilo Von Brandis - 2013-06-14 09:34

    Good for them. It should have never been theirs in the first place. Another piece of human social evolution that was hijacked by greedy corporations.

      Iwance Wasdere - 2013-06-15 07:44

      Copyright exists on all pieces of music (and other creative works) and remain so for a long time. In the USA it stays under copyright for 95 years from the time the song is first published and in the EU for 70 years after the author's death. "Happy Birthday to You" is still under copyright, greedy corporations have nothing to do with it. It has to do with protecting peoples earning power on their own creative work, and if they choose to sell that on to a "greedy corporation" then it is their legal right.

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