"The final determination about when "Happy Birthday" lost its copyright protection will be made by the judge in the case, who, after some back and forth filings and possibly an in-court hearing in the next week, will probably issue his opinion between the end of August and the end of September, says Rifkin. It would be nice to close the book on "Happy Birthday," but it doesn't close the book on copyright absurdity. An abundance of material from 1923 is poised to enter the public domain in 2019 unless a further taking of the public interest occurs, as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act did in 1998, adding an unnecessary 20 years to the existing 50 years' protection past an authors' death. Rather than sing "Happy Birthday" on January 1, 2019, we should sing another variation of the song: "Good-bye to you.""
Sunday, August 9, 2015
The twisted history of the Happy Birthday song—and the copyright shenanigans that keep it profitable; BoingBoing.net, 8/7/15
Glenn Fleishman, BoingBoing.net; The twisted history of the Happy Birthday song—and the copyright shenanigans that keep it profitable: