Happy Birthday …. sing it

Dear Reader,

This is not about somebody’s birthday. This is about the song. We had mentioned it on diablog before, here.

Now the good news, you can sing and play this evergreen when ever you want. Because a judge with his head on his shoulders and feet on the ground ruled, that:

All the ‘Happy Birthday’ song copyright claims are invalid.

For well over 80 years one shmock or another, all respected members of the music industry of course, claimed the copyright and collected royalties for the song. The last to do so was Warner/Chappell.

Now the song is declared public works, it is in the public domain, you are free to sing and play it. How much damage did the music industry do? Estimates are, Warner collected two million dollars annually. They pay 30% of that to a foundation, and their records indicate they collected over 750,000 last year.

If you still believe, there is something respectable in the “music business”, here is a little reminder from the 1970s:


This was on record covers and advertised. Now, was it accurate? No. Is it accurate? Neither.

And since then we heard that video is killing music, and online is killing music, and pirating is killing music. Music has been declared near dead by the music industry through every decade. Yet, there is more music composed and performed and available today than ever. The music industry makes those claims only, to fill its coffers, to tax you more.

I think it is high time, the shmocks in the music industry follow the dinosaurs. But that is just me.

Humming happily,

Engine Room

5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday …. sing it

  1. Surprisingly I find myself agreeing with you ER!
    The birthday song was written long before anyone recorded it and as far as I know never had any copyright attributed to it. It’s rather like our National anthem, it came from nowhere and was just adopted by everyone – God only know why, as it is so dull and we need a new one!

    Wish I could have written a “going to Barbados”, or “merry Xmas everybody’s having fun” could have done with the easy income trickling in all my life!

    On the taping, I was guilty of doing this for years in the 70’s and amassed a collection of about 600 albums!!, that now never sees the light of day! Did use them extensively for years though. When CDs came in I thought they wouldn’t last and didn’t get into them for 10 years, which seems madness now, but then keeping up with technology has become harder as time goes on for people of my generation, as you will know.

  2. Dear ER
    Invite us to your next Birthday Party, and the Druid and I will come and sing Happy Birthday for you.
    Waiting for invitation.

    1. Dear Smiles,

      You missed my birthday, because you do not know the date. And we will keep it that way. Glynsky missed it, although he knows. With a friend like this …..


    2. Dear Philippa,

      There is no ‘guilty’. You – or someone else – bought the record. And you were and are at liberty to transfer it to another medium. Or trade it. Or give it away. It is yours. You paid for it, you own it.

      The music industry and the movie industry are constantly trying to go back from freedom and ownership to slavery. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the latest attempt. They are worse than the mafia.


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