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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Happy Birthday Song LOSES it's copyright. We can now all sing it for FREE! #HNNBirthday

Credits Pixels Photography
I didn't even know anyone owned that song!

Looks like everyone can now sing the "Happy Birthday" song for free.

In a surprise ruling Tuesday U.S. District Court Judge George H. King granted summary judgment to filmmakers like director Jennifer Nelson who challenged Warner Chappel's decades-old copyright claims to one of the best-known English-language tunes.

Warner Chappel reportedly earns about $2 million annually in royalties on public performances of the song since the company acquired Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton Summy Co., the song's original copyright owner.

King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific arrangements of the music, not the actual song itself. "Because Summy Co. never acquired the rights to the Happy Birthday lyrics, Defendants, as Summy Co.'s purported successors-in-interest, do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics," he said in his opinion.

With files from MSN

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