Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Birthday is Free!

For years, Warner/Chappell Music company has collected more than $2 million in royalties annually for the copyrights to "Happy Birthday to You."  Like everything else, intellectual property (intangible property) may be owned.  For nearly the last century, Warner/ Chappell and other companies have bought and sold ownership and enforced their ownership. 

Finally, someone challenged this, which is not surprising. Lo and behold, a court in California determined last week that no one owns Happy Birthday.  In fact, Warner/Chappell Music now has to repay millions that they "earned" from enforcing the copyright. 

So feel free to sing away at the next birthday party without fear of being sued!

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