The "Happy Birthday Song" is Now Public Domain
on 24 September 2015
The “Happy Birthday Song” is finally joining public domain after a Los Angeles federal judge ruled that nobody actually had exclusive rights to the tune. Warner/Chappell Music had previously demanded royalties whenever the song was used for commercial purposes (netting them around $2 million each year) but, according to the judge, those copyrights only applied to certain arrangements in the original version of the song called “Good Morning and Birthday Song” and not the lyrics themselves. No longer will restaurants have to sing their own awkward, made-up melodies.