Surprising news out of a federal court this week: “Happy Birthday” is part of the public domain.
That’s right. That most-sung song can now be sung and recorded without fear that some hyper-alert IP attorneys will tell you to cease, desist, and pay a stiff royalty fee. As NBC News reports, the company that thought it owned the music and words was apparently wrong on the second count. Oops.
That’s certainly good news for the many performers and filmmakers who may want to shoehorn the song into their creative work, for whatever misguided reasons they may have.
For the rest of us, who for years have been seeking methods to end use of the song, we remain without recourse: The song will continue to dog us, annually, until the bitter end.
Because you like even more legal stuff, here is a video news story out of San Francisco in which one of the plaintiffs—now “ecstatic”—explained her legal path to the most musical of resolutions.
Joy-killers that the aggrieved party is, we expect there to be an appeal. So do your monetarily related “HB” recording while the iron is hot.Follow @azatty