Monday, May 19, 2008

Time Warner "Happy Birthday to You" Copyright?

1st\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

"Happy Birthday to You", also known more simply as "Happy Birthday", is a traditional song that is sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person's birth. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "Happy Birthday to You" is the most popular song in the English language..

In 1990, Warner Chappell purchased the company owning the copyright for US$15 million, with the value of "Happy Birthday" estimated at US$5 million.[7] Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claims that US copyright won't expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to it.

The actual copyright status of "Happy Birthday to You" began to draw more attention with the passage of the Copyright Extension Term Act in 1998. When the Supreme Court upheld the Act in Eldred v. Ashcroft in 2003, Judge Breyer specifically mentioned "Happy Birthday to You" in his dissenting opinion. , Professor Robert Brauneis goes so far as concluding, "it is doubtful that 'Happy Birthday to You,' the famous offspring of 'Good Morning to All,' is really still under copyright," in his heavily researched 2008 paper. -- Wikipedia

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