Copyright Invalid on 'Happy Birthday' Song, According to Court
Ever wonder why the staff doesn’t just sing “Happy Birthday to You” when you go to your local restaurant chain for a free birthday steak? For more than 80 years, the song’s lyrics were copyright protected, and the holder, music publisher Warner/Chappell, charged users a licensing fee—collecting more than $2 million a year. A judge ruled on September 22, however, that the copyright was not valid, and the song essentially entered public domain.
You might not currently have to pay for its use, but people are still hesistant to sing the original. Read more about Copyright Litigation.
In addition to Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time. Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.