Happy Birthday's copyright status is finally, mysteriously settled

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I always preferred this anyway.


It’s still an awful song.

TechDirt has a different take, opining that it probably won’t be in the public domain:

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in that thread, someone posits that this means the song is presently in the public domain until ACEI prove that they are the legal rightsholders. if true, it still seems unlikely that anyone would test those waters unless they were well funded and were doing it to prove the point.

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I still think that until we get a definitive ruling stating “Happy Birthday is in the public domain” then people are going to be hesitant to use it.

If I received a legal notice from a huge corporation saying “Either stop using Happy Birthday, or pay $500 in legal fees to fight us on this,” I’d probably fold.

If there were a definitive ruling that it was in the public domain, though, I could probably nail them for a vexatious lawsuit and get my costs paid for, so I’d probably risk it.


this one is under copyright, too; obviously. but the chorus is a staple alternate birthday song, at least for our afro-american brethren.

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I just prefer this song, regardless of whether the birthday boy or girl is named Lisa:


We all sing this, even if it is still in copyright -

Just one of those family traditions, I guess.


$500? What do you get from a lawyer these days for $500? An envelope and a stamp?

Personally, My favorite is still the Stravinsky version.

I was thinking just $500 to get in the courtroom door, never mind having someone to argue your case for you.

Well, that’ll make the first joke in this episode incomprehensible to future generations…


The way I hear it, you can sing the song, but if you sing it with “…You belong in a zoo,” then they’ll bust your ass.

In my family, we sing the traditional “Happy Birthday Yesterday” to the tune of the William Tell Overture (as adapted by the Flintstones for “Happy Anniversary” and just repeating the same three words until weary of it), because nobody in my family ever remembers a birthday on the right day.


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