Happy Birthday is in the public domain


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Did you ever want to play questions?

Well. What an epic scam that was!


Son of a BITCH!!!

I just blew $7500 on clearance for this song not five days ago. Wonder if I have to wait for appeals before I score a refund?


Free or not, I’m not going to stop waking my kids up with this on their own birthdays:


once again boing boing has posted articles about the same thing one right after another. Who’s minding the store around here?


Do you not like the flavor of the free ice cream?



So is it ok to sing it now?


once again boing boing has posted articles about the same thing one right after another. Who’s minding the store around here?


once again articles have posted boing boings about the same thing one right after another. Who’s storing the mind around here?


once again has posted boing boing about the same right after thing articles another one. Who’s here the store around minding?


Here around store the minding who’s? Another after right one thing same the about articles posted has boing boing again once!


Around the store once again
boing boing
who’s posted here?
Minding articles
about one thing
the same
right after another.


Well, good, because it really was the poster child for the absurdity copyright law has become. The ostensible current owners were so completely divorced, both in time and personal connection from the creators. If you create something of value and 80 years later some totally random entity is making money off of it, it neatly demonstrates how far copyright law has diverged from its intent.


Wait… Are… Are you saying that dead people rotting in the ground… don’t make art? That they can’t be encouraged to make more and better art?


What I want to know is if will Xeni claim copyright on this article?


They can probably be “encouraged” in to being made in to more and better “art”. Quick, call Damien Hirst! Tell him they come pre-embalmed.


It’s all about context. The same article means completely different things coming from Xeni or Cory. I applaud their effort to demonstrate this. This is what BoingBoing is all about. Advanced, highly self-aware blogging.


Happy Birthday is NOT in the public domain. The judge did NOT rule that it is in the public domain.

The judge did invalidate WMG’s copyright claims. An EFF attorney pointed out to me yesterday that in fact anyone who says Happy Birthday is now in the public domain, or that the judge’s ruling placed it there, is WRONG.

Only the LA Times got the story right. Invalidating WMG’s claims leaves the case open for someone else to properly claim the lyrics as theirs. As unlikely as this seems, it is an open question, one the judge did not foreclose, and let’s be clear one more time: Happy Birthday is not now in the public domain as a result of the judge’s ruling. Anyone claiming this is spreading misinformation, and that includes the mistaken AP story upon which BB mistakenly relies.


Long as I get my $7500 back, I don’t care what else goes on.