The Happy Birthday song hasn't been in copyright for generations, and everybody knew it. That didn't stop Warner Chapell music from running a scam where they extorted "royalties" from movies and restaurants that featured the song, charging less than it would cost anyone to litigate the question.
Until, that is, a documentary about the song decided to fight the question in court.
U.S. District Judge George H. King ruled Tuesday that the copyright originally filed by the Clayton F. Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific arrangements of the tune and not the actual song itself.
In invalidating the copyright, King ruled that Summy never acquired the rights to the song's lyrics.
Federal judge rules 'Happy Birthday' song in public domain
(Image: 53/365 - 02/22/11 - Happy Birthday, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shardayyy's photostream)
Ten years ago, Apple released the Ipad. I was in a hotel room in Seattle, jetlagged and awake at 4AM while my wife and daughter slept.
Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable […]
Back in 2017, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) approved the most controversial standard in its long history: Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME, which enabled Netflix and other big media companies to use DRM despite changes to browsers extensions that eliminated the kinds of deep hooks that DRM requires.
We all know vital information about ourselves and our private digital accounts can be compromised by cybercriminals. However, many would be frightened to know just how compromised they and their vital data are right this moment. Security researchers Digital Shadows say usernames and passwords for more than 15 billion accounts are currently up for purchase […]
While mosquitoes have certainly earned their title as the deadliest animal on earth, their impact on most of our lives is usually a lot less consequential. But even though they might not transmit a disease to you or seriously affect your life, being a blood donor for one of those insects is certainly an annoyance. […]
The bar has been raised on home video production. So just in case you haven’t been on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok or other video-heavy platforms lately, the days of the boring, white-walled, locked-down selfie video that looks like it could have been filmed by hostage-takers doesn’t really cut it anymore. Thankfully, your filming options have also […]