Of Litigation and Happy Birthdays

I have questions about this cake...

If you have questions about your birthday song, I have the perfect birthday cake for you.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records of 1998, the song “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language. People young and old grown up hearing the song dozens of times per year, as it gets trotted out for every birthday for every person they know. A cursory search of IMDB reveals that the song appears on the soundtracks of nearly 500 TV shows and movies.

According to the Warner/Chappel music publishing company, “Happy Birthday to You” is also still under copyright. That’s right: you technically have to pay money to sing “Happy Birthday to You”. However, the copyright for “Happy Birthday to You” is soon coming under fire in the US courts, a conflict that just boiled up in the news over the last couple weeks.

So what’s all this about, then?

 

Mad Max 2 – music box

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