Published On: Fri, Dec 11th, 2015

‘Happy Birthday to You’ song in civic sphere

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American music publishing company, Warner/Chappell Music, has reached on a settlement in a US lawsuit regarding the copyright to Happy Birthday to You that includes in the world’s most familiar songs in the public realm; it was noted court papers released on Wednesday.

Conditions of the agreement were not revealed in the papers proclaiming the conclusion, but they did put an end to the class-action lawsuit filed in 2013 by a group of artists and film-makers who had sought a return of millions of dollars from the company for using the song.

It is reported that if the agreement is decided then the song will be in the public sphere. That illustrates that it will be open for all to employ with no horror of a lawsuit.

In September, Chief US District Judge George King in Los Angeles ruled that Warner/Chappell, the music publishing arm of privately owned Warner Music Group, did not own a copyright to the Happy Birthday song lyrics.

It is stated in a report by Warner/Chappell that “Whereas we deferentially opposed with the court’s verdict, we are happy to have currently sorted out this matter,” Mark Rifkin, who is an attorney for the artist, told in an email they were happy with the resolution but refused to give additional facts.

The issue gathered concentration from all over the globe not merely for the reason that the melody is so repeatedly played, but  there is also a reason that a lot of people were not known it was yet under copyright, let alone supposedly owned by a huge company.

The song has a complex chronology dating back to the 1893 publication of Good Morning to All, a children’s song penned by a Kentucky woman named Mildred Hill and her sister, Patty. That tune finally arrived to be sung with the well-known Happy Birthday lyrics.

The public has no claim for singing Happy Birthday in their homes or at private gatherings but if the song has been employed for profitable reasons for example in movies, Warner has compelled its rights and collected an expected $2 million in yearly royalties for long times.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.

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