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Thread: OK, fellow movie viewers who stay reading credits until the last possible second...

  1. #1
    Silver Member spiderpig's Avatar
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    Feb 2008

    Default OK, fellow movie viewers who stay reading credits until the last possible second...

    'Happy Birthday' song copyright is not valid, judge rules

    Source: Los Angeles Times

    In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, a federal judge has ruled that Warner/Chappell Music does not hold a valid copyright claim to the "Happy Birthday To You," song.

    Warner had been enforcing its copyright claim since it paid $15 million to buy Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which owned the original copyright. Royalties on the song bring in about $2 million a year for Warner, according to some estimates.

    Judge George H. King ruled Tuesday afternoon that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific arrangements of the music, not the actual song itself.

    Read more: 'Happy Birthday' song copyright is not valid, judge rules - LA Times


  2. #2
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Burning Down Your Windmill


    I iz confused.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

  3. #3
    Silver Member spiderpig's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    You watch credits for about 15 minutes, and then they show the soundtrack obligations. It's one thing if it's Nirvana or Frank Sinatra, but every time someone sings "Happy Birthday To You" they have to cite Mildred and Patty Hill from about the year zero. Guess Warner picked up the copyright. Mr. pig and I were shrieking "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU" just on general principle.

  4. #4
    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Florida Keys


    Whatever, I Always sing "Crappy birthday to you" instead. No one catches it.
    twitchy2.0 and yanna like this.
    See, Whores, we are good for something. Love, Florida

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Aug 2012

    Default Happy Birthday finally copyright free – now go sing your heart out!

    Happy Birthday finally copyright free – now go sing your heart out!

    Happy Birthday finally copyright free – now go sing your heart out!

    Tristan Rayner 6 hrs ago

    © Wavebreakmedia..

    The Happy Birthday song is iconic, and known by pretty much everyone as a rite of passage. And it’s finally free of copyright that’s existed for 81 years.

    The Los Angeles Times reports Judge George H. King said that none of the companies that have collected royalties on the song for the past 80 years had a valid claim. That’s a big win for the public and a big loss for the copyright owner, Warner Music Group.

    How Happy Birthday was licensed

    The cultural phenomenon of being embarrassed by family, friends, and colleagues who belt out the Happy Birthday lyrics in the usual tune is known everywhere.

    What’s not as well known is that there is a strict copyright associated with it that has been owned by Warner Music Group since 1988.

    A little history. According to the LA Times, some time in 1924, the melody was published for the first time to Happy Birthday lyrics – and no one is quite sure who set the melody to those words first.

    What is known is that in 1893, a kindergarten principal named Patty Hill started singing the Happy Birthday tune to her class in Kentucky. It was called Good Morning to All.

    The song was so popular that Patty and her composer sister Mildred published it in a songbook called ‘Song Stories for the Kindergarten’.

    As the song grew in recognition, so too did exploitation. The song appeared in the 1931 Broadway musical The Band Wagon, a Western Union telegram commercial. It went further when it featured in Irving Berlin’s As Thousands Cheer. The Hill sisters banded together and with the help of a lawyer in 1934, secured the copyright on the song.

    The Hill Trust, which was established for the sisters, sold a license extensively and profited from it. Eventually, the full rights were sold by the Trust to Time-Warner Corporation in 1998.

    It’s those lawyers who still enforce a law that demands that you buy a license if you want to use Happy Birthday in any sort of public creative endeavour – film, TV, radio, and anywhere else open to the public, even including restaurants. In 2008 alone, the song yielded over $2 million in royalties.

    Avoiding the fee became part of celebrating birthdays on TV and movies, with it notably absent from most scenes. The public-domain and delightfully royalty free song For He/She’s a Jolly Good Fellow is to go-to replacement, most of the time.

    It does appear in some places- oddly enough, Larry David sings it each time he washes his hands in Woody Allen’s Whatever Works.

    The Happy Birthday game comes to an end

    A federal judge in Los Angeles has passed judgment and ruled in favor of a class-action lawsuit brought against Warner which claimed their copyright is invalid. You can read the ruling here [PDF].

    That effectively places the song in the public domain, right-free, for the first time in 80 years.

    The lawsuit continues as the judge considers if Warner will have to pay back the lucrative royalties it has collected over the years.

    But what it all means is that you’re probably going to hear a lot more of it.

  6. #6
    Elite Member panic's Avatar
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    Jul 2013


    Quote Originally Posted by shellee View Post
    whatever, i always sing "crappy birthday to you" instead. No one catches it.
    "The wild, cruel beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He is in front of it."...Axel Munthe

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