[bct] Happy birthday and copyrights

  • From: The Scarlet Wombat <coconut@xxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 15:47:32 -0500

Believe it or not, Happy Birthday to You is copyrighted and owned by Time-Warner Communications and will not fall out of copyright until about 2030. I was shocked to learn this, but it is true.

It started out as Good Morning to You, written by the Hill sisters in the 1890s. As a result of a court acgtion in 1935, the words Happy Birthday to You were added to the copyright because of a suit against Ira Gershwin.

Time-Warner does not care, supposedly, about the use of the little ditty at birthday parties, but if it is performed, or used in a movie or television show, or on the radio or, presumably in a podcast, they get testy. 'Royalties for Happy Birthday to You run around $2 million a year.


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