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Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Internet |

Lawsuit seeks the ‘Happy Birthday’ public domain again

Lawsuit seeks the 'Happy Birthday' public domain again

(CC) alfonso benayas

Imagine you do a movie where a scene takes place at a where guests sing the renowned ‘Happy Birthday’, a song that age exceeds virtually all the people you know and is as universal as Don Quixote.

However, the song has , and the fact of use in your film have to pay him $ 1,500 to Warner / Chappell, a subsidiary of Warner Music, who claim to own the rights of ‘Happy Birthday’.

There are few complex legal analysis claiming that a song like that should belong to us all, and despite that, charging for such veteran rights and universal song mean to you Warner about U.S. $ 2 million annual income.

The fact that a label has the rights of a song created and composed in 1893 by sisters Patty and Mildred Hill should fill us with questions about why that song is not in the despite the infamous ” Mickey Mouse Act ‘.

In this situation, a filmmaker named Jennifer Nelson making a documentary investigating the origins of the song and had to pay the $ 1,500 to Warner Music for its license, subsequently sued the company in the hope that the New York court set aside the Warner alleged rights over the song.

The lawsuit claims to have “irrefutable documented evidence” dating from 1893 would show that copyright in any part of the song maximum expired in 1921, and if Warner has any rights to the ‘Happy Birthday’, would be restricted to reproduce and distribute a specific piano arrangement of the song published in 1935.

If you lose the lawsuit, Warner should return money to all those who have been charged for the right to use the song at least since 2009, corresponding to significant million.

Link: Birthday Song’s Copyright Leads to a Lawsuit for the Ages (The New York Times)

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