And so it has been declared, on the twenty-second day of the month of September, in the year two thousand and fifteen…
Yup, it’s so dramatic. And I love it.
So did you. Don’t deny it.
On October 13, 2013, I wrote this Facebook status…
Heh, who knew there was relevance to learning how to operate a Magnavox Laserdisc Player…and that disintegrating DVDs were a thing?
Fine, there is no relevance, but still…cool!
But it’s actually Fact #1 that holds relevance in this post…
That’s right, the copyright (which was held, apparently illegally, by Warner Chappell records, a division of Warner Music Group) for “Happy Birthday to You” didn’t expire on the song until 2030, and all claims to it are invalid.
The song, written by sisters Patty and Mildred Hill in 1893, and the combination of melody and lyrics were first in print in 1912, and was registered for a copyright by the Summy Company in 1935. Warner/Chappell purchased the company holding the rights for $25 million in 1988, with the song’s value an estimated $5 million. The claim, according to them, was that based on the 1935 copyright, the expiration of it would not happen until 2030 (95 years later), and that any public use is technically illegal unless royalties were paid to Warner. In February 2010, it was said these royalties could cost up to $700, and the song had made $50 million in royalties since the copyright’s creation.
I’m really not shocked by their claim. Warner is the same company that muted any use of their songs on You Tube, while Sony and Universal would just run ads next to videos. Who’s being more fair?
So…80 years later (and fifteen years ahead of the expiration)…
We can now sing “Happy Birthday to You” to our heart’s content, in public, at any time.
Kinda breaks up the monotony of all the negative news we keep getting, doesn’t it?
And yet, it was in a Facebook status I wrote two years ago. Who says you can’t learn something relevant from me?!
Oh, and thanks to my friends Melanie and Keith for clicking “like” on this irrelevant post two years ago. 🙂