Wednesday, December 9, 2015

‘Happy Birthday’ Copyright Case Reaches a Settlement; New York Times, 12/9/15

Ben Sisario, New York Times; ‘Happy Birthday’ Copyright Case Reaches a Settlement:
"After more than two years of litigation, “Happy Birthday to You” — often called the most popular song in the world, but one that has long been under copyright — is one step closer to joining the public domain.
In September, a federal judge ruled that Warner Music, the song’s publisher, did not have a valid copyright claim to “Happy Birthday,” which has been estimated to collect $2 million a year in royalties. But what that ruling meant for the future of the song — and Warner’s liability — was unclear, and a trial had been set to begin next week.
In a filing on Tuesday in United States District Court in Los Angeles, the parties in the case said they had agreed to a settlement to end the case. The terms of that deal are confidential. But if the settlement is approved by the court, the song is expected to formally enter the public domain, meaning that it will not be covered by copyright and can be performed freely."

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