birthdaycakeThe folk song “Happy Birthday to You” has been a prime example of America’s flawed copyright system. Its origins date back to the middle of the 19th century. Yet a Warner Music Group subsidiary collect $2 million a year from enforcing the copyright.

But what if evidence surfaced  that  Warner owned a flawed property and could no longer  collect $2 million a year from enforcing the copyright? Get the details from Ars Technica and Above the Law. Excerpt from Ars:

Lawyers for a filmmaker seeking to knock out the copyright found a 1922 songbook that features the lyrics of "Happy Birthday," published without a copyright notice but with a notice giving "special permission through courtesy of the Clayton F. Summy Co." On Monday, they filed an application saying that the notice warrants ending the case. Publishing the lyrics without a copyright notice should have forfeited any copyright, and even if it didn’t, copyright on the 1922 songbook expired in 1949.

Related: Earlier coverage in TeleRead.


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