You are now free to sing Happy Birthday!!!
Hey guess what?
You can now sing Happy Birthday without fear of being arrested.
Did you KNOW that it was illegal to sing one of the most popular songs in the world because it was copyrighted?
Well you can now rest easy, and sing loudly, because yesterday a federal judge ruled that the lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You” are not protected by copyright and that Warner/Chappell Music does not hold any claim to the song.
A bunch of people challenged Warner’s claim (which allowed them to be paid royalties – some say up to $2m a year) including filmmaker Jennifer Nelson who is making a documentary about the history of the song.
The attorney for the plaintiffs said that the decision means that the song is in the public domain. “There is no one, really, who can claim an ownership to the song,” he said.
“Happy Birthday to You” can be traced back to a 1893 manuscript for sheet music that included the song “Good Morning to All,” which was written by Mildred J. Hill and her sister, Patty Smith Hill. The song was first published in 1893 in “Song Stories for Kindergarten,” and later the lyrics to “Happy Birthday” were adapted to the song’s melody.
So feel free to sing along, loudly with little Marty below!!!!