"Happy Birthday" For AllOn Tuesday George King, a federal court judge in Los Angeles ruled a decision on the copyright of the known all over the world song "Happy Birthday To You". The decision, enthusiastically accepted not only by the plaintiffs but also by all cinema studios, artists and musicians, ruled that the company Warner Chappell Music has no right to demand royalty payments for the use of the song, because it belongs to everyone.

The proceeding started two years ago in connection with the creation of documentary on the history of the song, beloved by all.
The defendant claims to own the copyright on "Happy birthday to you" as a result of the purchase of the company Clayton F. Summy Co, which was the initial owner and registered a copyright in 1935.
Created in 1893 by two sisters, teachers from Kentucky with the name "Good Morning to all" with purpose to be used easily memorable by the children in kindergarten, the song was been included in the children's book "Song Stories for the Kindergarten" and was ceded to the publisher Clayton F. Summy Co. for a sale percentage.

The Court stated that the record company does not have a "valid copyright" on the melody, and on the argument that not the melody but the current text is a property of Warner Chappell Music, Judge King ruled that Summy Co. has never acquired in a verifiable way the rights of the lyrics from the original author and that in 1935 it acquired the copyright only of a limited arrangement.
The decision would cause a serious financial damage to the defendant who from 1988 until now has collected royalties for the amount of more than 2 million dollars per year. The company is risking more - the plaintiff's lawyers intend to start a class action for the refund of all royalties paid over the years without legal basis.

From now on, everyone, especially producers and artists, can freely use the song "Happy birthday to you" in their performances without risking a penalty of 150.000 USD.
Tags: Copyrights